the methods and means of procrastination

bus ride
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The old woman pauses in her conversation to look out the window, listening to the confrontation as the bus pulls up to the stop. "he got em." She nods, slightly smiling ironically. "hmh."

A young man in a New York baseball cap, also smiling ironcally, pays his ticket and sits down. A few minutes later he is followed by an older man in a korean veteran baseball cap. The veteran is pretty robust for his age, though he limps and gets on the bus with a cane over his arm.

"I got it." He prounounces to the bus at large, continuing the conversation from the bus stop.
"You got it?" The young man retorts from across the isle.
"I got it," the old man infactially responds, as he settles back into his throne, to preside over the court in the front of the bus. The bus moves on.

"what's that stand for?" The old man gestures to the young man's hat.

"What this stand for?"

"That's nothing. You see this?" he takes off his veteran's hat, "I earned this."

"you earned it?"

"I earned this," the old man rebuffs, "I earned this. I earned this -- I got a purple heart." The old man digs in his wallet, shows a dog-eared card, and looks combatively up at the young man.

The young man just smiles, then looking around the front of the bus, with his hand lightly patting his chest,"Well, I've got a black heart."

"I got a purple heart."

"I've got a black heart."

"I got a purple heart."

"I've got a black heart."

"I got a purple heart."

"I've got a black heart."

"I got a purple heart -- I got shot." The old man rebuffs, "I earned this," shaking his hat, "I got shot."

The young man's smiles drops a fraction.

"I got shot. I got shot. I got shot." The old man's eyes burn with conviction as he rocks lightly to his mantra. The bus driver turns slightly in his chair, to check his mirrors. The old woman crosses her arms and looks away frowning.

The young man silently looks at the old man as he proclaims. Coming to a decision, he says, "Let me show you something." He lifts up the left leg of his jeans. "You got shot? Well so did I," the young man exposes a indent in his calf, long healed.

The veteran stares. The bus engine fills the silence.

"So have I," The young man drops his pant leg. The bus slows down.

"You take care now," the young man says as he swings out of his seat and gets off the bus.

The court sits silent, as the veteran sits abased. The old woman shakes her head.

The bus drives on.

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