Ok, first, I must say that I risked my life in running across the 4th Avenue and Fulton intersection while dodging in front of and behind fast-moving cars, just to flag down a 5-Fulton. But that’s not what the story I’m retelling is really about. The bus stopped, and I made a point to say “Thank you” to the kind bus driver. I took my seat across from an overweight man in a wheelchair. A few minutes into my ride, he begins talking to no one in particular. Of course, no one responds, and I continued thinking there was NOTHING special about this behavior. Well, at about five minute mark, I begin to smell cigarette. Again, I thought nothing of this; that is, until I notice smoke protruding from the cigarette the man had just lit up.

My jaw dropped…and quickly I grabbed the collar of my ski jacket to cover up my nose and mouth. No one stopped him. Once all of us had realized what was going on, we reacted in different ways. One person decided to move towards the back of the bus: One of the two males sitting near me let out a jokingly-over-exaggerated cough. The other said “Oh, you got something in your throat?” We all laughed in a semi-secretive fashion. The man in the wheelchair continued to smoke his cigarette until he felt he was done. He dropped his still-lit cigarette onto the floor, failing to put it out when he made an attempt to move his right foot forward half an inch. There the cigarette lay: lit. I had an intense urge, as a girl who hates cigarettes with a passion, to stand up, put the thing out with my heels, and tell him that what he just did was extremely disrespectful, but didn’t. I can assure you that I’m a good citizen, but I’m one that knows better than to start something with an incoherent piece of crap.

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