I took Lexie to catch the Mega Bus in Little Rock. She was going to spend the week with her brother Jack, in Nashville. I figured the Mega Bus would have a station, or at least a bench. I was wrong. There was just a dirty parking lot in the grungiest part of Little Rock.
Ten or fifteen would- be travelers were already sitting on a broken cement wall, waiting for the bus. Half the folks were super shady and half were pretty normal looking. How do I decide who’s shady and who’s not? Well, if you have a tattoo on your face or your’re wearing a tee-shirt that reads “F*** You” I consider you shady.
Lex, who is sixteen, and I found a spot on the wall and sat down. I was regretting my red and white floral jacket and skirt. I was a little over dressed for the parking lot.
There was a man wearing sweat pants and a sweat shirt walking back and forth, talking to everybody. He was cheerful, drunk and crazy. “My name is Marques and I’m the defender of the Mega Bus. I’m gonna protect you folks from all the sh** that goes on you hear me?.” Then he rolled his tongue and made a really loud purring/humming noise, like some exotic bird.
A couple of really dirty guys walked toward us and Marques chased them away. Then made his purring noise and started introducing himself to everyone on the wall. He had all kinds of stuff tattooed on his neck
When he got to me he said, “How you doing Momma. Listen just cause you’re white, you gotta try not to be slow in my hood. You hear me. You gotta not be slow. You understand?”
I shook his hand and said something my husband always says. ‘Quicker faster stronger. I appreciate your help.”
Apparently “quicker, faster, strong” was the right thing to say. marques high fived me, ‘Alright, Kayne. Good job Momma.” I didn’t know those were Kayne West lyrics but I was pleased and so was Marques. Then he said, “You can call me Dookie, that’s my street name. Not cause I smell bad. It’s because I’m always getting into it.”
When my 23 year old Mary arrived, she sat down on the other side of Lex. Mary is georgous and very shiny. Marques spotted her instantly but the Mega Bus arrived and we all jumped off the wall.
When eveyone lined up to climb aboard I was thrilled when I realized Marques wasn’t going to be riding with my baby girl. he was just there to defend the parking lot. He kept purring and waving and people as they got on board.
Once Lex stepped inside and found a seat Mary and I started to walk back to the Explorer. Dookie spotted us and yelled, ‘Hey, where you women going? I got everything right here in my bag!” He made his purring noise.
He was coming after us, so Mary and I bolted into the car and I locked the doors. Dookie was outside Mary’s doo; he started pulling on all the handles. “Come on ladies, let me in. I got all the money right here” and he reached into his bag, then pulled on the door handles again.
“Momma, momma momma!” Mary breathed, as I got the car started.
Her window was down three inches and Dookie had his hand in the window, “Come on bitches, just let me in. Come on I just want to get high.” I got the car into drive and did a fast donut around Dookie who was slapping the back of the Explorer and shouting at us. He was not purring anymore.
I tore out of the parking lot and turned right. Then Mary yelled, ‘Momma it’s a one way street!” There were head lights coming toward us, so I cut the wheel, jumped a curb and did a u turn in the parking lot, once again passing the ranting Dookie. We were reenacting a Eddie Murphy movie.
The Mega Bus was gone and I took Mary home. She and her big handsome boyfriend could get her car.
That’s how 1uickly a situation can go south. It’s also an example of how fast a” funny, crazy guy” can turn into a “scary, crazy guy”.
So, If you find yourself in semi-scummy parking lot in Little Rock, do not befriend Dookie. He’s definitely on my shady list now.