I moved away for a year and now am back. Living in a different town for a year was a change for me, but it’s good to be back in the old ‘hood. When I lived here last year, I took the bus to work. Now I’m back and once again taking the bus. My alarm goes off at 5am and I am on the bus by 6:40. In the early morning of this city, things are pretty quiet. The traffic is light – the only vehicles moving are delivery vans pulling up to coffee shops and buses rumbling through sleepy neighbourhoods.
The people are all the same too. Its interesting to see how they haven’t changed either. I wonder if they noticed that I was gone, and now am back? They are all still up to their old routines. There’s something comforting in the fact that things didn’t change all that much.
For example, there’s the guy who wears shorts and a hoodie no matter what the weather or the season. He gets on the bus three stops after I do, and we get off at the same one 30 minutes later. We work near each other, though I’m sure neither of us knows exactly where the other works. I see that he recognizes me, though we never fully acknowledge each other. We are fellow commuters, and in that, there is a silent understanding.
There’s the guy with the hair. I call him that because he’s got slicked back hair, like those guys on Mad Men. He’s also got a big round belly that keeps trying to burst out of his dress shirt every day. One day last week it succeeded, having popped a button low towards the belt line. The white undershirt underneath strained to contain it as the button literally hung by a thread, seemingly nodding apolegetically with each bump of the bus. You can tell by looking at this guy that in his job, he’s King of his own little empire. He looks supervisory and has an air of feeling slightly better than the rest of us. He sits and reads the entire time, his leather man-purse on his lap.
Then there’s the creepy guy. He doesn’t take the same bus as I do, but I see him in my neighbourhood as I walk to my bus stop. He gives me the heebie-jeebies. There’s something about him that’s more animal than human. He’s about 6 feet tall, probably late 20s or early 30s. His shaved head shines as he walks with large, determined strides. He’s pure muscle, slim but solid, like he’s obsessed with staying in fighting form. This morning I was sitting at my bus stop when I saw him. He was on the corner waiting for the walk light to change. The red hand light turned into the little human light as the signal chirped. I saw him put his hand up into a gun shape and make a shooting motion at the human symbol just before he crossed. It was sinister and made me look away with a shudder. I didn’t look up as he strode past me on his way to work. He just gives me a creepy feeling *shudder*.
Of course, there are girls on my route too. There’s the one who is so perfectly coiffed each day, yet she falls asleep almost immediately and gets totally messed up while she sleeps. She falls over, her hair falls down, her purse often slides to the floor with a thump and she wakes to pick it up. This might happen more than once in a trip. I wonder sometimes why she goes through all that trouble when she’s only gonna fall apart when the bus gets rolling.
There’s another girl who sits in her seat and puts her bag in the seat next to her. She obviously doesn’t want anyone sitting next to her, yet its the morning rush hour. The bus gets packed full, but she tries to hold off as long as possible with her bag on the seat. If at all possible, she doesn’t want anyone sitting next to her. Its a battle she always ends up losing.
In the end, the bus reaches its destination. I don’t ever see where these people go because I have to catch my connecting bus. Sometimes shorts guy is on the connecting bus, sometimes he walks the 20 minutes to the area where we work. As for the other people, I am sure they go about their day and, just like me, make it back home somehow at the end of it. The next morning we all start over again. I have the day off tomorrow – I wonder if they’ll miss me?