I love riding the bus. I prefer the control and freedom of my own car, but there is some mystical quality to being solely a passenger bound to other’s choices.
My bus is special. I have been on other buses, but they do no compare to mine. My bus is quiet. Not eerie, dead silence. Instead, it is the right decibel of chatter between patrons within the umbrella of calm for other things to occur.
There are the standard cast of characters on my bus. In the morning are the students with earplugs pushed deep into their heads trying their damnedest to cram the lessons they should have reviewed last night on the half hour commute. With them come the conscientious and frugal businessmen using the clout of environmental concern to avoid moving their vehicles and having to fill the ever emptying tanks with new blood.
Midday brings about the rush of famished individuals from all walks of life hoping that this time around the bus will be on time to all stops so they can actually enjoy their meal without being rushed. They rarely get their wish. Afternoon, is not too different from midday. The students and businessmen return to their homes to rejuvenate for the same journey the next day.
Night is when things become more interesting. The eclectics and night-owls, and vampires come out during the night ride. People with the offbeat professions and passions going all over the city, sometimes with no clear plans. I have seen passengers leave wearing colorful feathers and boas and horns and return with simple garments of shirts and pants and dresses during the night ride. I have no idea what they did or where they went. They seemed happy enough.
I love the bus and all its mysteries. Mostly though I love sitting across from her, the freckled girl with a new book every week, sometimes every day. You hardly notice the world around you. In fact, the only time I ever saw you lift your gaze from the pages of your book was when that man dressed as a ballerina and a crown sang an aria in the middle of the bus. People were about to complain until they heard his voice. Then they just clapped. You smiled.
We have yet to speak. I don’t know your name or if you have ever even noticed me. Oddly enough, you have inadvertently given me some great book recommendations. You have great tastes. So many times I have wanted to try to talk to you. To ask you about your book or just strike up a conversation. But I don’t. And I probably never will.
Would it be sort of creepy to do so? Most likely, but that is not what stops me. You, stranger reading a book, are an idea right now. The moment I speak to you, you become a person. You could be an incredible person. An astounding individual with so much to offer. You could even be my person. However, I have to admit that I need the idea more than the person. I am not ready for a person because I am still working on being one myself and moving past an idea.
For now, freckled girl reading a book, I will have to be satisfied with the idea and hope of one day being able and ready to meet the person. Until then, you are the reason why I love the bus ride.