First Daze

The last thing I remember was the close up of patient’s eye.  Everything was copacetic right up until the surgical instrument extracted the metal filing.  My blood galloped to meet the floor and my body, the traitor, was helpless but to follow.

I was reawakened as classmates struggled to upright me.  “Are you okay?  You don’t look so good.”

“No, I’m fine.  Eye injuries just make me squeamish.”  The momentary humiliation stung.

“Mr. Dyck.  You’re excused for today.  Tomorrow, we start the real course material.”

How could I protest after being unceremoniously unseated on my first day?

I had been warned about the gory nature of the shop’s safety film and its aim to scare safety mindfulness into freshmen.  Putting forth my bravest face, I had grossly overestimated my ability to muster mind over matter.

I stumbled woozily onto the bus while fumbling to produce my monthly pass.  Defeated, I slumped into the seat and burrowed my head into my jacket.  My eyes stared blankly at the pedantic transit advertisements.

The transit meandered its way to my home with ceaseless stops and starts.

The girl seated in front of me looked around with a gaze that differed than most.  When had she gotten on the bus?   The Camwest Center?

With the most devilish grin from ear-to-ear, the girl turned to face me.

Next Stop

 She clasped something in her left hand.   A similar substance was on her cheek.  At first glance, I guessed chocolate.  The whiff that followed clarified otherwise.  It was a defecating matter!

My stomach contents ejected upward while my hand grasped desperately for the next stop rope.

Ding! Ding! Ding!

With breakfast in my mouth, I rushed the rear door.  The ride stopped.  I exited, expelled, exhaled, and embraced fresh air.  Sweet fresh air!

My composure was nearly regained as the next bus arrived.  Once boarded, seated, and mildly relieved, I couldn’t help but notice the constant trickle of passengers from the earlier bus, all being picked up along the way.


The above is my response to Trifecta: Week Seventy-Eight where this week’s word is pedantic (adjective)

1 : of, relating to, or being a pedant(see pedant)
2 : narrowly, stodgily, and often ostentatiously learned
3 : unimaginative, pedestrian

The challenge requires my response to be between 33 and 333 words.  The word must be used once in its third definition.

My response’s story idea stems from a real-life situations experienced by my roommate on either his first or second day at SAIT (over 20 years ago).  Good or bad, it was the first thing that sprung to mind when I looked up pedantic.


29 thoughts on “First Daze

  1. My stomach did a couple flips when reading this. (Good to know at least some part of my body is limber at my age :))

    I’ve ridden the bus before and there is strangeness for sure. Thank heavens I never encountered a woman like that….I’d have lost it right there! (She makes the drunk guy that sat thisclose to me look good.)

    1. In Calgary, we really can’t complain about the public transit system. When I see people in faraway countries riding on top of passenger trains, that seems a wee bit crazy–I’m not sure I’d have the courage to do it as part of my daily commute. That’s when I’m reminded how good we’ve got things here.

  2. I like to use public transportation when I can, but I’ll think twice about it from now on. Nice work forcing us to use our senses. Nice writing.

    1. In the past I’ve used public transit for getting to work, but it motivated me to figured out ways to walk or bicycle instead. Thanks for stopping to have a look.

  3. Aha! That’s such a great image, that all of these people, rather than report her for the shit are jumping off the bus. And that this poor med student isn’t going to make it far with such a weak stomach. Wait until the surgeries where they pull the face skin down over the skull like a mask…

    1. It’s a Canadian thing not to cause waves… something about being too polite for our own good. And yes, my friend went on to become an aircraft mechanical engineer.

  4. Wonderful – and what a bad day. I’m pretty sure that here in England we’d go one step further into insane politeness and all just stay on the bus pretending we hadn’t noticed. Very well written account.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I tried to drop you a comment on your last response to the prompt, but it didn’t seem to work. I really enjoyed the creativity and clever end to your story. Thanks again.

  5. Definition of a bad day, I would say. I enjoyed all of it except for the poo on the face…but I’m funny like that :))

    “muster mind over matter” and “my blood galloped to meet the floor” – loved your phrasing throughout but those two, in particular, are standout knockouts.

    Look forward to reading more of your writing…but sure hope there isn’t anymore poo on the face! :))

    1. I don’t think you’re funny for not liking the substance of the matter. You’ve just got good taste! 🙂 Thanks for the feedback on the phrasing… I’m often left wondering about how it all sound when someone else reads it. Agreed, I’ll be happy to put this subject to rest. Thanks for your reply.

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