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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Just Shut Up and Ride

Having been reminded this last weekend of physical frailties in general, and the tensile strength of your average pair of capris specifically, I lean against the back of the bus seat, willing myself to relax after a full day of work.  It is particularly after a good stiff Monday that I find myself with the bearing of an irritable Theodore Roosevelt, so I slump a little – just a little! – and think soft, abstract thoughts.

The bus driver, a portly man looking suspiciously like a biker-ish version of Sebastian Cabot, has the most elaborately macramé-ed earring I have ever seen.  A vivid blue, it dangles past his shoulder, swings as he turns his head to check his mirrors.  A tiny bell from the end of it rings as he calls out the stops.

“Next stop, Spring Street.”

I wonder about people, about the patches on their jackets, about the tattoos on their arms, the memories and stories behind them.  There was a man on the bus last summer, a thin, rough-looking man, pocks on his cheeks, his thinning hair pulled into a pony tail, the thighs of his jeans wearing through over the pockets.  Among the visible tattoos on his arms was the head and upper torso of a smiling child with what appeared to be dates inked in a filigreed scroll at his wrist. 

The tattoo of the smiling child was too heart-breaking to consider, and so I wrote it down, to consider it another time.

I wonder, now, if the earring has that sort of sentimental value.  Did a permanently capitalized She from his past make it for him?  Did he buy it at an art fair?  Did he find it?

We don’t know, do we?

And we won’t.  As they will not know about us.


jenny_o said...

I'm so glad you are still a masterful observer of humanity, Pearl. You make me take a second look at the strangers I see.

Should Fish More said...

Reminds me of the joke:
There is a dentist that lives only a few blocks from me. He was arrested yesterday for possession with intent to sell marijuana. You can never know someone; I've been going to him for 10 years, and never knew he was a dentist. (drum roll....)

Elephant's Child said...

People watching and wondering is probably the only sport I play. And fills many a long bus trip.
Glad that you continue the habit, and love your posts.

Gigi said...

A lot of us look at others and try to create what their story might be; but most of us don't have the ability to create a great post like this.

Joanne Noragon said...

And that is as it should be. For the best.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Here bus drivers do not yell out the stops, it is up to you to know your stop.
I like relaxing bus rides

Diane Tolley said...

I would so love to be someone that other’s find interesting and would like to know! ;)

Ernie said...

Very insightful. I do not ride a bus but occasionally I see someone out and about and wonder about what is going on in his/her life. I feel like an open book- but I suppose I am not.

Linda O'Connell said...

I have a freak magnet and they find me. I hear condensed life stories, adn lengthy detailed dramas. I would be assailed on a bus.