I boarded the 8-Jackson Park just after it turned off Multnomah onto 15th Avenue. Standing room only but a bench seat opened up at the next stop and I snapped it up like the true geezer I'm getting to be. The atmosphere was subdued, the passengers mostly commuters keeping to themselves.
Across the aisle facing me a young man rummaged in a small shoulder bag. His movements were deliberate, in slow motion. He pulled out a smaller zip bag, zipped it open silently and poked a finger around in it. He took something out of the bag, keeping it hidden in a hand. Then he took out a device, an implement, a tool or useful item I couldn't immediately identify. I watched carefully, not wanting to be surprised by a weapon. (Crazy, huh?)
The thing was a vape pen. I watched as the young rider slowly and silently loaded it with what had to be bud. Loco weed. I looked around and saw no one else taking this in.
Weed has been legal for almost six months in Oregon, so I shouldn't be surprised to evidence of its use, even in public, even on a crowded bus.
However, I did not expect the man to light up. But light up he did. The guy put the pen to his lips and inhaled. There was no sign of smoke on the inhale, which is the point of vaping, I guess. But then a brief, thin wisp of personal smog came out of the corner of his mouth.
I was the only one shocked. No one else noticed that law was breaking in plain sight like a vinyl record hitting the sidewalk at your feet after being tossed out the window of a second-story condo. Why, I remember when the founder of the White Panther Party, John Sinclair, was busted for possession of two joints and sent to Marquette State Prison for ten years. A bunch of counterculture celebrities got together and busted him back out with a concert: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sinclair_Freedom_Rally
The revolution has arrived.
When the man hit his vape pen again and the wispy evidence trailed from his lips, I said -- loudly, because I wanted the driver to hear me in case there were repercussions -- "Dude, are you vaping on the bus?"
No one cast a glance except the vaper himself, who looked up at me for the first time, caught my eye and smiled. I had to laugh. Then he quietly dropped the pen back in its bag, dropped that bag into the shoulder bag, stood up and walked to the back door. At the next stop, Fremont, he sailed out of there into the future on invisible wings.
Like wow, man.