Route 20 - Northmount
"TIBS!" A high-school boy with a grey toque hollers while boarding the bus. Tibs acknowledges him with a smile and a nod from his blue pleather bus seat. When he smiles the bandage that extends from the bridge of his nose to his left cheek puckers. "You're a fag." The boy in the grey toque briefly juts out his chin. He laughs at Tibs' silence. He sits down beside Tibs and his backpack thumps heavy against the floor.
The bus pulls away. A boy with a headset nods his head in time to music overpowered by the hum of the heating. Tibs looks past his companion to a girl with a nose ring. She speaks into a glittering silver cell phone.
"Oh. God."
"You know what we should do Monday?" Grey-Toque turns to Tibs, "Get stoned on 'shrooms and go see a movie at Imax."
"Wanna do that this weekend?"
"No. I work man-"
"Then Monday."
Tibs watches thick-eyeliner eyes roll, looking up into short hair, straight blown-black streaked blonde. The shirt beneath her white jacket asks and your point is…?
"Yeah, I'll come with you."
The bus stops. People cough and mutter accompanying the popping hydraulics of chivalrous public transit. Tibs turns to the window. He watches jacketless girls shiver and keep their hands in their shirt cuffs. Beside him, Grey-Toque starts fidgeting with a red bic lighter and his transfer. Uniform jacketless kids dot the snow dusted dead grass.
"That's the school where they haveta wear uniforms." Tibs says, nodding his head towards the window as the bus moves on. Grey-toque stops fidgeting and looks to Tibs.
"We're the future KFC workers of America!" he declares in falsetto. Tibs laughs a little.
"We're in Canada dude."
"Once we graduate they ships us back to America!" Tibs laughs again and shakes his head.
"Uniforms must suck."
"I like the skirts though." Grey-Toque smiles broadly and gropes the air with his fingers. Tibs sniggers and pushes him. Lighter and transfer drop to the mud-mottled floor.
"You fucking asshead!" Grey-Toque picks up his things, pockets the lighter, "look what you've done! It's all soaked." He dries the transfer on his jeans.
"Man you're such a dick." Tibs pipes in falsetto.
"Stop using bad words Tibs, jeeze. They harm my Christian ears."
"It's virgin ears man."
"I say Christian."
"Whatever makes you feel better."
"Too late man, don't worry." Tibs' bandage puckers as he turns to look at the passing scenery.
Outside the window, Tibs' eyes are drawn to the Huntington Hills Arena. Girls are exiting the building, wearing shiny leotard and snapping skate-guards beneath the shortest of skirts.
"You know what's fun- staring out the window-"
"You know what's fun," Grey-Toque cuts in, "doing speed."