I can’t help it – I just have one of those faces. I stop in a public place for a minute and someone has to tell me their life story.
I was riding the bus home the other night. When I got on, this fellow about my age in a baseball cap and a parka was sitting in the long seat by the front and immediately decided to strike up a (loud) conversation with me.
How are ya, fella? I’m a paranoid-schizophrenic.
I’m not dangerous—just off my meds. I ride this bus every day, unless they put me back in Rikers.
They bother ya, the city. They’re okay if you stay on the meds but you go off? Oh boy.
What you doing on the bus. You don’t have a car? A license? No? You paranoid-schizophrenic? Heroin addict? Crack addict?
Me: No—just poor.
You’re not poor. You probably have a condo, a coop, something.
(Shake my head no)
Okay, my stop. (gets up, announces to the passengers in general:)
I’m a paranoid-schizophrenic. I ride this bus every day, unless they put me in Rikers. (gets off)