She boarded the bus at eighty-fifth street. She was wearing a raw meat tank top with matching raw meat skirt, and meat platform booties. Her long blond wig was slightly askew so that it covered part of her forehead. Stray wig hairs clung to the glossy animal flesh.
Nobody could see her eyes because they were covered by opaque Jackie O. sunglasses.
It was mid-morning and she wasn't drunk or high but she was sweating into her ripe bloody clothes. She wore cellophane gloves and carried a clutch purse made of fur.
The passengers all fell silent as she made her way to a vacant seat in the middle of the bus. They all stared. Some people muttered in disgust, others' jaws hung open. A small child pointed and said, "Momma, why is that lady an animal?" The mother shushed the child.
A group of teenagers pumped their fists. "Lady Gaga, Lady Gaga!" They turned up their ipod music and sang along to the lyrics, don't call my name, don't call my name, Alejandro. The group stood and danced. She didn't turn to look.
The people nearest her moved away. They hung onto the overhead railings and stared, blinking and rubbing their eyes.
A Goth-dressed punk wearing black jeans and skull jewelry addressed the woman. "Why you sweating lady?"
She moved a cellophane-clad finger to her cheek and wiped off a drip of perspiration. "I just finished my nude hot yoga class."
She didn't remove her sunglasses. Her necklace of alabaster rosary beads with the little silver cross dangling from the end swung back and forth over her navel.
"Nude?" The punk sniggered. "I didn't know they had nude yoga in the city."
"I said nude HOT yoga. There's a difference." The woman's scarlet, full lips smiled. Her voice was soothing.
The passengers strained to listen in on the conversation. The bus bumped down Lexington Avenue. The windows were open and the fumes poured in.
"So I guess you weren't wearing that cool get-up during your class." The Goth-guy looked around at the others. He gave everybody a thumbs up. Nobody responded to his enthusiastic endeavor at engaging the strange woman in small talk.
"That's Lady Gaga, dumbo!" It was one of the dancing teens in the back. "Leave her alone. She's our idol. Lady Ga-Ga. Lady Ga-Ga." A few girls sang the lyrics to her songs, her anthems.
The other passengers remained wary, silent. They stared at the outlandish outfit which in the summer heat without air conditioning had begun to change colors. Some people pinched their nostrils shut, others breathed through their mouths, still others covered their faces with their arms.
Then they saw crawling insects on the meat. Small maggots were wriggling and multiplying in the dead flesh of her tank top and skirt and boots. One passenger whispered to the next and down the line until even the teenagers at the back heard the news. Those closest to the woman moved away, some towards the front, some towards the back. They yelled out, "Disgusting freak! Sicko! Creep!" But she just smiled and pulled a lollipop from her fur clutch purse. The lollipop looked like a chocolate tootsie roll but it smelled like excrement. She licked it, put it in her mouth and sucked.
Now everybody was talking about the sh*t pop that she was eating. They huddled together at the front and the back and became restless.
When the maggots began falling off her now warm, cooking and purplish meat outfit she laid her sh*t stick onto her lap and picked the insects off her bare arms and legs. She put the creepy crawlies in her mouth. "Mmmmm," she said to no one in particular. "Rare delicacies." She smacked her lips.
The crowd reached its breaking point. A large group complained to the bus driver, "You've got to get this sick bitch off our bus NOW."
The driver said, "Don't worry I've been keeping my eye on her," and he looked back up into the overhead rearview mirror.
He pulled over at a stop on seventy-second street, opened only the back door, stopped the engine, took the key from the ignition and got up.
"Miss, you're going to have to get off my bus. You're causing too much of a disruption. I'm sorry."
The passengers cheered and she made a big deal out of faking a pout.
"I can sue you, your bus company and the city," she said.
She touched her index fingers to her thumbs the way they do in yoga class during meditation and began chanting "AUM." Her quivering voice rang through the silent bus. People clapped their hands over their ears.
"MISS! You have to get off or I'll call the police!"
She stopped chanting.
"I'll get off but only if you kiss me." She pursed her lips. She waited with those puckered lips and looked like an angel in serial killer's clothing. The driver wiped the sweat from his face with his shirt sleeve.
"Miss, I'm telling you for the last time, this ain't no Lady GaGa concert, I have a route and a schedule, people are relying on me to get them safely to where they need to go and we can't do that with you aboard - dressed like that."
"One kiss is all I ask. I may be your frog who will turn you into a prince. Did you ever think of that?" She again puckered up.
Three or four men pushed the driver out of the way and grabbed her. They threw her out the back door and she fell to her knees. The men jumped in place and stepped on maggots that had come unglued from the rotting flesh.
"Drive, motherf*cker, drive! Let's air this motherf*cking bus out!" The men yelled.
The bus driver rushed back to his seat. The passengers looked out the windows. She was still on her knees. Her meat outfit hung in strips from her crouching body. Pedestrians walked around her. Nobody helped her up.
"Damn you! You eat the meat, you slaughter the animals, you torture your families, you abuse your friends and you can't look the meat in the eye!" She screamed. "Hypocrites, all of you!"
Some Lady Gaga fans thought this might be the real live diva and offered her sympathy, and their hands to be autographed.