"It's The Nineties" is a short, true story I originally posted on V3. This is a slightly shorter, snappier version.
February 7, 2009
The bus stop at 15th & Leary
Ballard, Seattle, Washington
Working at 7am on Saturday is no one’s idea of fun. Walking to the bus just before 6, I see two men waiting there in the dark. One, tall, in a red windbreaker, perhaps 50s, early 60s, says, “Oh, I see how it is!”
I hear breaks, turn, and see the 15 coming down the street, right on time.
“We’ve been freezing here for an hour, but you walk up like it’s nothing and the bus rolls right in.”
I shrug and smile.
He continues, “I bet you got a watch. I should get me one of those.”
“They are handy,” I answer.
He turns to the short, round-faced, brown-skinned man next to him and says something in Spanish. The other man smiles as he responds.
Watchless continues to rant, though good-naturedly.
“One hour we been out here, and you just walk right up. Man. Not that I blame you,” he assures me. “I’m just a little jealous.”
The 15 pulls up, but it’s just a shuttle. We’ll have to wait.
He chuckles. “Good! Now you have to wait here with us!”
I smile. “Waiting for the bus builds character.”
He laughs. “I don’t need any more character.”
He’s close enough now that I can smell the beer that’s probably contributing to his joviality. Already drunk or still drunk at 6am.
We stand in silence for a moment.
“Yeah, I gotta get me a watch. It’s ‘the Nineties’!”
I’m not sure if he’s kidding, considering it’s not the Nineties and wristwatches became popular in the 1920s.
He continues. “Gotta keep up with the times.” Again, with exaggeration, “It’s the Nineties!”
He pauses. “Wait…no it isn’t.”
Now I laugh. “Hasn’t been the Nineties for ten years, dude.”
“But what do we call it now?” he challenges me.
I shrug. “No one seems to agree. It’s just ‘the new millennium.’ Not so terribly new anymore, I guess.”
He nods. “Yeah, I’m ready for the next one.” Now he guffaws loudly.
“In the next millennium, maybe I’ll get a watch!”
Created: Dec 08, 2009Document Media