A Bus Window and the Gateway to the Soul


I stepped hurriedly onto the late bus, with eyes weary and somber . They had been glued together into apathy by the Sunday night haze that had followed me well into this Monday morning. The chill of the grayness outside seemed to be pushed in with me as people scurried left and right on the gum-dotted pavement. They were clothed in blue by the bright light of a Citi Bank logo that shown bright in my watery eyes.

I made my way to the very back and took a seat in the leftmost corner of the bus. A row of hats and balded heads caught my eye as I sat. Then back I was to observing the littered floor of the bus. I looked up and leaned my head on the side of the bus window. Between my lazied morning eyelids I could make out the slender figure of a girl make her way on the bus just as the doors closed.

Wow, she looks nice. Maybe she will sit with me. Is my hair all right? Pat, pat, pat. Yeah it looks OK. Let me pretend not to have noticed her, it’ll up my cool, am I right? I turned my glance to the cars going by outside.

Just then, a large sliding at my right reminded me I already had a companion, a large, balding gentlemen who took out a book in Spanish and began reading. The girl ended up sitting with her back to a window, diagonal from me.

I sighed. Oh come on. I’m so unlucky all the time. Time? Time. Time! What time is it? Damn, 7:40 already. Late again. I nipped a bit at my thumb nail. This week is going to suck I thought. Four exams, and I haven’t even started studying for any yet. I won’t get time to do anything but school work this week. Man, life sucks. I pressed by cheek on the bus window.

The bus had stopped at a red light and through the tinted glass of a dented and grayed, decade-old Chevy Malibu I could make out a young face. A man bit his lips as he puckered them slowly at the thin air. He stared intently at his hands on the steering wheel, and then at the glare of the red light on his car’s hood, and back.

He seems to have it worse. His eyes are emitting worry like lasers. I’m probably complaining about nothing. Who’s to say a couple of tests are more important than some of the things other people have to go through. Gahh, people are dying of hunger in the world Bruno, get your crap together.

The bus had started moving again. I turned my head back to the girl, but not so much to her face, as to her feet. I was afraid she’d notice I was looking at her. I focused on her clean, leather flats. I rose my eyes a bit, following her tight black jeans to her knees and then to her waist. On her belt was a large skull she had for a buckle.

Well I wasn’t expecting that. I leaned back on the window with my eyes still on her, and like a lighthouse on shore I gave a quick scope around the bus, so she wouldn’t suspect I was looking at her. At each turn I got a quick glimpse of her thick eye makeup and her hair which fell loosely on her shoulders and around her breasts. It had a long, thick stripe of green on it that pierced my eye in a manner inexplicable.

Woaw. What made her want to do that to her hair? It probably would look nicer naturally. Oh well. Who am I to know what goes on in a girls head? I can barely figure out what they’re saying when they’re talking to me. Still she looks so pretty. Oh well, I probably won’t see her again and my life will go on, as boring as ever.

I turned my glance outside. Hot damn, is that a horse on a car! What the hell? Oh, its just a large cabinet tied to the top. I snickered. Wow, I have a short attention span. Did anyone notice I just laughed to myself? I looked around, as if I had been caught with my hand in a cookie jar. Nope, no one.

I kept looking outside. I looked at everything and nothing at the same time. I couldn’t quite focus on any single thing because I kept thinking about how tired I was. Suddenly I was struck with the thick blur of trees. They looked like they were mocking me. They never get tired. Haha. Oh how much I would love to be a tree I thought. No responsibilities, no fatigue and plenty of friends around you all the time. 

I kept my eyes outside. Wow I think about stupid things. I wonder why. Why; it’s a word that opens up so many worlds. Why? Like why do I always have to be tired? Why do I have 4 exams this week? Why does that girl have a skull on her buckle? Why has this large man next to me been on the same page of his book for the past 20 minutes? Why does his perfume smell like wood? Why is this bus so dirty? Why am I so late to class all the time? Why am I asking why? Why do we even exist?

The bus was almost at my stop, the last stop on the route, and the girl and just about everyone else had left already. I looked around at the ugly seats and the dirty windows. It was like I owned this bus; this stupid, disgusting bus that never smells right and never comes on time.

And, though I had gone through a spur of profound thought as my head had rested on that window, all I could think about as I stepped off the bus was how damn cold it was outside.

*****

School, grades,work, lateness, fatigue. These are all things that produce stress, an they have become a definitive part of our modern-day culture; a culture that is pervasive in the cities. Even when relaxing on a bus, we cannot help but be haunted by the problems in our lives and sometimes we cannot see that they do not define who we are. Yet, to push them out of our minds we think about anything and everything else, maybe even with a bus window aiding our very souls.

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