He's young, with wild hair that starts out dark at the roots and has been bleached almost blonde -- by the sun, I'm pretty sure; the look is very much “California surfer.” He's sitting in a crowded bus next to an attentive young woman with a pretty face who is enjoying his company. A second young woman is with them, in the bench seat next to their knees. The women are hanging on the man's words.
He's talking about music – his own, I think. The woman sharing the seat says “What do you mean?”
He says, “That's your responsibility. I just use the words.” She beams as if complimented.
Suddenly I remember this type of jock from high school: the animal good looks, the attitude of humorous condescension, the desirous babes.
My mind drifts as their conversation continues. A moment later he says, again to the one next to him, “You know what you're really good at? Excuses.”
She says something I can't hear.
She says something.
The women have a giggle about this.
This is my stop, ending the eavesdropping. But the high school feelings continue. I'm resenting this guy for having it so easy with the ladies, in spite of his being a jerk and them being dumb.
The best remedy for being outshone by a stud muffin back then was the knowledge that in a few years he'd be working in a gas station while I was having a career. This guy was maybe 25 – very young by my current standards but well out of high school. The women might have been a little younger. He's still playing high school games, wrapping them around his finger. And as for my career – oh, yeah, that didn't really happen, did it?