Sun’s a fingernail in the fog when he gets on. Night man on a downtown bus full of day people: glass-faced Westsiders curled in Armani shells pinch their ears and nostrils shut when he fills up three seats behind the driver.
Extravagant in filth and fatness, enthroned on bulging garbage bags, he scratches the hole in the crotch of his greasy sweatpants, rubs his gritty stomach and throws the story at them:
How the Hare Krishnas got him. Just sneaked up when he was asleep in the doorway of a dead pawn shop down by the Post Office on Main Street. And they poured their juice, that Hare Krishna juice, right over him.
Well it was sticky and purple and it smelled bad too, so he begged enough change for the laundry at 4 am. Had to beg some more for a pint or two just to get past the shock.
Got to watch out for those Krishnas. They got plots in those little naked heads. They’ll get you every time. And that juice of theirs? Well they’d just love to splash those slick leather shoes or drown some thousand dollar suit.
It could happen to you.
“It Could Happen To You” was inspired – no, dictated – by an encounter I observed on one of my many foggy, early morning bus rides when I was teaching in Los Angeles. Taking the Pico-Rimpau route at dawn has inspired a lot of my weirder flash bits.)