My Spokane Bus riding adventures continue, though I am not sure what to make of this one. As I boarded the bus near my work, I go to the back of the bus and find a seat close to the back row. The part of the bus is sparse of people, just three of us. Myself, and two men sitting in the back row at opposite ends.
One with a jet black wavy hair styled much like Farrah Fawcett had in the late seventies. His herringbone jacket hung loosely on his Ichabod Crane frame. He has very delicate movements as he reads Nietzsche’s Will to Power in the form of a borrowed library book. His face is thoseof the deep lined in the faces of the middle age men who are the corrupters in French coming of age movies.
The other’s a bit of a slob. An over sized double x T-shirt struggles to contain the man’s planet round belly. He accessories with red over sized basketball shorts. His thinning grey hair makes his age hard to determine his age, anywhere from mid-thirties to early sixties. Though not prone to gambling, if I had to place a stake, I would go with early forties. In other words, the two men are contemporaries, but seemly worlds apart.
The Ichabob Crane with black curls reads his book, while other looks like he is asleep. I only casually notice the two. I lose myself in the ocean of my thoughts. I think about my son, my wife, the NBA game tonight, how tired I am, Thinking Fast and slow, the bookl I am currently reading, my work, my writing... the usual drifting iceberg of thoughts that dominate a tired man from work. I look every so often a catch a glimpse of the unberthin uberman in training. He seems to turn forcefully at regular intervals at the other man. He seems to grow agitated. He then turns to the slob and says,
“Would you please no do that.”
“Look, stop jerking off on the bus. It’s disgusting.”
“I am sorry.”
“Just stop it.”
“I am sorry.”
Ding, the signal for a requested stop interrupts their exchange. The bus stops for a young woman starts.
“Masterbater, you aught to got to jail for that. It just disgusting.”The Herringbone jacket wearing man says.
“I am sorry.”
“Get off the bus. Now.”
“What, Its not my stop.”
“Get off or I am calling the police. You asshole. Do you want me too?”
“Then, get your ugly off now. Now.”
“I am going”
The bus starts to pull away.
“Bus driver, stop and let the masterbater, off.”
Bus then stops with a jerk.
“I am going.” The slob gathers quickly his stuff. He shuffles off, like a doe within the hunter's gaze.
The other guy screams, “Masterbater. Masterbater. Masterbater.”
The bus driver say little about the encounter, but he says the bus camera caught it on film. The bus driver leads the uberthin uberman to conclude that the police would be called and the slob hunted down for jail time. Mostly, I thought the bus driver said this to placate the moral outrage of the Nietzschean.
The exchange left me curious about both men. While the slob was complete inappropriate, the other surprised me in how his moral indignation and anger grew with each passing moment. He was first tentative request that built like a Beethoven symphony to end to shouts of masterbater. The crescendo ending with a cymbol clashing scream.
The power dynamic was interesting to see. The Nietzschean kept growing in his demands until he forced the slob off the bus. But he wanted more. He enjoyed his power and his thirst for power flowed from moral superiority. The Bus driver did not care about the drama on the back of his bus. My guess was that he had seen worse and just wanted the drama to pass.
Moral superiority has its own power. Self righteousness is usually tied to being hypocrit, but what to do when the act is, indeed, morally repugnant? The Nietzschean had every right to ask not to be around such vulgarities. Yet, his anger seemed to boil over from another place.
Also, what about this say about that human reflex for cruelty? The slob already agreed to leave, but in the morality and power forming in the uberangry man, it was not enough. There was a need in him to hurt the slob. I don't know what could have answered this moral outrage mixed with anger. There was a will to power building in one and a sulking away in the other. Yet, both are really powerless in their world.