Bug Bus Piano


The way the medicine man went and got guiding spirit, contact with animal, or whatever it is: they kept on dancing every winter. They got strong and power came to them.

It must have been in those times when everything was different. Clear air and wilderness, and they could get in touch with animals like that. But I don’t think they can now. Everything gone; noise and all.

All right! Legend days will be over; humanity is coming soon. No more legend days. There will be no more, and they will be sad like I am: brokenhearted over my last child, never to return again. Death takes her. And that’s the way it’s going to be.

I wander along only in the higher mountains and the heads of the streams all the way through. I’m never down anywhere where it’s civilized country. I’m way up in the wilderness.

Years to come, people will lose their only child and they’ll have the feeling just like I have: sad, that’s what. And that’s why these days, we are that way: sadness comes to us.

– Fragments from the oral history of Niimíipuu elder Elizabeth Wilson, recorded 1970

Sure, you can sit there and wait for the bus. You can do that everyday for ten years. For even longer than that. One day you’ll look down into a puddle and you’ll be a shell of what you used to be; you’ll try and smile and it will look totally unreal and strange, because you shouldn’t be smiling. You aren’t happy. Hate, anger and confusion shredded genetic DNA information proteins melted like hot molten lead as it pours into a mold which is shaped like a little kid’s brain. Your brain. You drank lead pipe water in the school building in middle school and now something’s wrong with you. I could wake up in the morning and glance out my window and see a huge tulip tree which was just a sapling when I was a kid. I could see that and smile and know that everything is okay with me as long as I have a grasp of who I am and what I do and what choices I make. Or I can wake up and see the same tree with the leaves all red and wet, drooping off the branches and barely hanging on like flesh, sloughing off of an animal that was prey and was skinned alive while running away from the predator. It’s a gamble. It’s all insane and none of it makes any sense to me. I can show you one simple trick I’ve learned, and then I gotta split: get out while you still can. Crush your phone into shards and never get another one for as long as you live. I removed everything about my physical form that disgusted me a long time ago and now nothing is left except some kind of depressing frail exoskeleton. Just need to keep walking and keep shedding, just gotta keep running at top speed and to be honest it really burns and it doesn’t feel any good, but at least I think I’m doing something here. Need energy. Need peace. From an explosion of violence and pain comes a period of peace and stability and now they’re coming to me in rapid succession.


Jake Van, (known mainly as Bug Bus Piano) was born and raised in the Central District and Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA. He likes drawing, making music, going on the computer, and riding the bus. In the literary world he is mostly remembered as the author of How I Survived High School. He is currently working on a science fiction love story called The Jester’s Timebomb.