Osama Bin Laden on the Bus

The bus driver smiles hugely as I climb onto the bus.
“How’s your husband?” I ask. “Oh, he’s fine, thank you for asking,”
she replies. “That’s good, we were a bit worried about you.”
I sit near the sweet-voiced woman, but she’s reading again,
another book by McCall Smith. Instead I start chatting
with the retired Navy vet. The bus passes the Temple.
The wall was painted with a quote (“Hate cannot drive out hate:
only love can do that”) but it has been defaced again.
The vet tells me last night she was watching television,
that show with the strange guy, the one about firing people,
who is he? Oh, yes, Trump. She really wanted to see who
got fired, but the show was interrupted by a news cast.
“Did you know Osama bin Laden was killed?” she demands.
My jaw drops. “No! Really?” “Yep,” she says, “Navy Seals got him.”
The mild-voiced man in the next seat over comments, “Ding, dong,
the witch is dead. That’s all I have to say.” The grizzled man
wearing Army Surplus barks, “What took so long?” In the back
of the bus, someone I can’t see cheers. “It’s embarrassing,”
murmurs the small woman beside me. “It makes us all look
like blood-thirsty barbarians.” She shakes her head sadly.
The Navy vet looks wistful, “I really wanted to see
who was fired.” That night, taking the bus home, the Temple wall
has been repaired, again saying, “Hate cannot drive out hate … ”


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