The 920 bus disintegrated into billions of bus-like particles just past Fairfax and then, after a brief passage through unrecorded space and time, reconfigured further west along the Wilshire corridor, say somewhere between the Federal building and the cemetery down by the 405. But my iPod had been churning out a killer stream of random tunes, the book in my lap was the latest by a genius recluse, my coffee was still hot and, contrary to pattern, none of my surrounding bus comrades smelled bad enough to distract me.
Had I been sufficiently bored by 'Inherent Vice', had the iPod played something I was embarrassed by instead of enthralled with, had the lady with the Mickey Mouse brooch and the seven Ralph's bags filled with what look like beef jerky smelled just that much worse, I might have lifted my head from the page and sensed a low buzz, a slight smell of burnt chrome, a shimmer of refracted light...maybe the buildings in Beverly Hills would have blurred just enough to clue me in that my bus, my reliable public transport, was defying all known space/time behavior. Not to mention skipping a couple of stops.
One cannot rue what one does not know one has missed. If Carl Sagan or Stephen Hawking had been there they'd have been jumping for joy despite being dead and wheelchair bound respectively but they were not. So their reaction, while fabricated and impossible, was identical to mine, i.e. they had none.
Down there on my lap the pages flipped and turned. Vicarious dope was smoked, legs ogled, punches thrown and taken, sunsets rose, dawns fell, and a general sense of stupefied malaise seemed to emerge from the early 1970's decor. It all seemed so quaint and innocent compared with where we'd wind up, with these keystrokes bringing you chosen few this strange review of this strange book on this strange medium.
In that stretch of time that I did not know I'd lost, perhaps one tiny bus molecule did not make it through the worm hole. And that one bus molecule contained the whole bus, every bit of every passenger, so that somewhere in the ether, somewhere in the world that surely exists between this world and whatever other conjectural entity stands for the adjoining unknown, somewhere over there I am ignoring another fantastic universe while reading 'Inherent Vice' and crying slightly when Eminem cleans out his closet.