Three short scenes from the 23

The woman who announces herself as the Singing Candy Lady walks straight to me, puts her box of Snickers, M&Ms, KitKats and Skittles in my lap and sings, "Buy my funky candy," like Wild Cherry. She includes the "white boy" lyric (she appears African American and I am the lightest-skinned person on the bus), but stops short of singing that I should eat her candy until I die. I don't buy any candy. She gets off the bus.

A middle-aged man making his way down the crowded aisle seems well-groomed and physically healthy, but he cries out, "Oh God, oh God, somebody help me," then lies down on the raised aisle in the back of the bus, ringed by eight seated passengers. Everyone looks at him. Nobody knows him. After a minute he gets up as if nothing happened, moves to the front of the bus.

It has been raining and windy all day. As we pass the Wayne Junction train station, a transformer explodes on the electric lines half a block away. I resist the urge to follow the blinding blue light, and turn as a cascade of sparks fall on the street. There is a man on his phone a few seats away from me. He is laughing. "Oh man, this fucking bus," he says. We all get out at the Broad Street subway line.