I once had the decidedly sadistic pleasure of sitting next to a guy on the bus who kept falling asleep. It was during a trip to Victoria, British Columbia in the summer of 1995. I was on vacation with my family, and like any sixteen year old, I was in the grips of a crushing ennui whenever I was even remotely near any of them.
The day shone bright upon my fortune. We decided to take a bus back to the ferry terminal so that we could return to my cousin's home in Langley for the evening. We stood at the bus stop; the bus pulled up, we all paid our fare and got on. In my trademark angsty fashion, I sat near the back of the bus, away from my family. The only two people I remember from the ride were a young asian man and a man in his 30s who looked like a professional roadie for AC/DC.
Not long into the ride, I noticed that the aforementioned asian gentleman seemed fatigued; I can only assume he was heading home after a long shift at work. Ever so slowly, his eyelids drooped as his brain began closing up shop for the evening. His jaw slackened as his head made for a rendez-vous with his chest. Like a willow tree in the wind, he swayed to and fro in his somnolence. And then, at the apex of his journey to blissful rest, he fell forward and smashed his head off the metal bar between he and I - the one put in place for standing passengers.
I immediately looked straight ahead, stifling a laugh. He awoke with a start, but never quite made it to consciousness and drifted back off to sleep, as innocent as the proverbial lamb. Once again, he fell forward and smashed his head off the same metal bar; again, I attempted not to laugh, and bit the inside of my cheeks as a preventive measure.
This may have succeeded had I not looked at the thirty-something metalhead seated at the very back of the bus, perpendicular to us. He was looking at my neighbour, and then to me, with a shit-eating grin of pure jubilance. Never before had I seen someone smile ear-to-ear like that. Needless to say, it made my endeavour to remain polite much harder than I expected. By the time I heard the third "CLANG", I was wondering if I could keep from laughing if I took off my shirt and stuffed it down my throat. I can only assume that the other people on the bus were enduring the same torture as me. To this day, I believe that only the man at the back of the bus accepted this comedic gift from God (A Good God, A Good God Who Might Sometimes Let Bad Things Happen), and relished it fully.
After seven years of treasuring that memory, this is the first time I have ever related it to anyone. I only hope that someday I may fall asleep in a public place and provide my fellow humans with the joy I experienced on a bus in Victoria, B.C. during July of 1995.