Across the aisle a guy in shades appears to be asleep. You can’t tell. His eyes are hidden – as if he doesn’t want you to see what’s inside. Others are focused on their phone or listening to music, letting it take them to a different place. The bus has a rhythm all its own. Some people just roll with it, bored to the bone.
An older man sits in a wheelchair with a small poodle napping in his lap. Nobody pays him any mind. He smiles when I ask if I can talk to him. Over sounds of traffic, I speak slowly and clearly.
Q: Where…are you going…on the bus…today?
A: I take her everywhere. She is always good. Especially with children.
Q: Uh… do you like riding the bus?
A: (nods head, smiling) Everyone likes her. She is always well behaved.
Q: Yes, I can see. Do you live near the 75 line?
A: I would never give her up. I love her. She’s 14 years old now.
Q: Wow, that’s great. So can you get around on the bus okay?
A: Someday she will die – I will get another just like her.
Eyes look forward and to the side – but seldom into the face of a fellow passenger.
Eyes look forward and to the side – but seldom into the face of a fellow passenger. People are not looking to make connections. Alienation prevails. Melancholy hangs in the air and you almost despair for mankind. Then, you hear someone crackle and explode and say, “Hey, how are you? It’s so good to see you again!” Not everyone remains hidden.