Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Stranger

I try never to catch the early bus since all the seats are taken by the time I arrive. I hate having to stand, my feet hurt at the end of the day and trying to stay balanced as the bus hightails down the highway is a pain in the butt.

Today was one of those days. I got off fifteen minutes early and a small voice in the back of my head urged me not to rush. I would have been happy not making the bus but despite my lack of trying, I arrived just as the bus did and as usual, I was the last to board.

Thankfully I was able to stand by the back door and not crowd between seats. It wasn't so bad since I could hold onto the door handle and with my other hand brace myself on the metal balustrade. I was only carrying a purse so there was nothing to weigh me down.

I was surprised to discover that standing next to the door also provided a small amount of pleasure in having air blowing around me. As I was wearing a dress, there was a nice sensation in having small whispers of air blowing up my skirt and cooling my legs.

I wasn't able to take my Kindle out and read since I didn't want to lose my footing if the bus suddenly slowed so I just stood there and watched the cars that we moved past. Since the door is all glass, it felt almost like a special tour just for me. I could get full views of vehicles and their drivers and feel almost like a voyeur in the middle of Seattle.

We approached a white truck and it took me a moment to recognize that the sight changed. The driver had his elbow in the open window and as we neared him, the arm was a complete sleeve tattoo which was bright and different than any of the other commuters I'd seen. I was fascinated by him and when we came abreast I wasn't displeased to see he had long, dark hair that he wore loose, an eyebrow piercing and a small beard.

The truck was older and well used while the driver was young and possibly less used than the impression he tried to make. I immediately started to write stories in my head about the driver, a sad pasttime of most writers, so I was surprised when I recognized that the truck and driver were still in my view.

I was even more surprised that he glanced over at me. Apparently just as I was having my interest piqued by this stranger, his was also being tapped. We actually looked at each other, me on a crowded bus and him in his old white truck.

I don't know how long we would have kept it up but the bus needed to change lanes and the flow of traffic demanded acquiescence.

I know there's a story there. But more, I knew there was also a connection that made little sense but happened all the same.


  1. Aww.

    Just think, if someone had been kind enough to offer you a seat (do people still do that these days?), you would have missed the whole experience - wind and all.

    I'm sure you didn't mind your feet hurting a little more that evening, right?

    Would love to see this as a story. Have at it Ms Lori.


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  3. I love this. I have met people on buses, and I love the long gaze of a "what if" when passing someone not on the bus. I'm sure this story would be amazing... and it reminds me of the short story anthology idea about "romance of a moment" - just short glimpses of the million possibilities that a single moment holds.