August 8, 2008
By Brooke Bischoff, Fair Oaks, CA

The boy on the bus is probably thinking about how he’s trying to stop picking his nose. That’s most likely why he is on the bus; he knows that if he were driving, his finger would be up there, rooting around. But I don’t know what he’s thinking about, really. I’m hypothesizing. Completely 100%.
But I’m probably right, because lets face it, this is the sort of boy who thinks about things like that almost as much as sex and how things work.
I, on the other hand, am thinking about how in I’m guessing about 2.5 minutes we are going to have to get off this bus and get onto another bus, and then onto BART which will take us into a tunnel under the bay that they built and they lowered down and hopefully maybe if the great big ocean filled with sharks doesn’t crush us in that tunnel, we will get back to Richmond. I am thinking about that, and I am also thinking about how that boys hand is not touching mine, but sort of resting near mine, laying, absent-mindedly next to mine. I am thinking about how it’s strange that something like hands can provoke so much thought. I am thinking about how I would very much like to have his fingers in my fingers, and he is probably thinking about how much he doesn’t want his fingers up his nose.
But then maybe he is thinking about me thinking about that tunnel, because he looks at me like he’s asking with his eyes if I’m thinking about the fact we are about to drive under billions of gallons of water and animals and shipwrecks.
But he is definitely not thinking about my hand being in his hand, because I’m positive he doesn’t think about things like that.
We look at each other and suddenly I’m worried he can see with his eyes into my brain and he knows exactly what I’m thinking about his hand, which is still laying a little bit like a dead bird next to my hand, which is sweating.
I wipe my palm on my jeans and look back, but now he’s looking out the window. Most likely thinking about something deep and philosophical, like the way atoms connect to form the universe, or how velcro is made. Me, I’m still thinking about his hand. But now mine are clenched between my thighs, in case they try to escape and make a run for his before I have time to consider.
Considering is something that I do a lot. I like to know every possible outcome to every possible action before I take any. But something about this boy makes me want to stop considering, makes my hands want to make a run for his hand without any sort of plan at all.
Which makes me feel very unsafe in myself, so I go back to thinking about the tunnel and how it’s probably decaying and old and I wonder how I will ever, ever be able to live in San Francisco. And he says, out of no where, “It will be okay.”
And I stop worrying so much about the tunnel, because I believe him. I believe him about something he couldn’t possibly even know for sure. He doesn’t really know if it will be okay. No one does. But I still believe him, and it gets harder to keep my hands in my lap.
Three hours later, my hands are still in my lap and we are pulling onto familiar streets, into familiar driveways. We hug goodbye, and his hands touch my back, and my head touches his chest and I am happy, because we made it through the tunnel, and even though, now, tonight, I will think thoughts about my hands in my lap and his hands in his, and never the intersection of both, I will also think about his hands on my back, and the reassuring thought, that no matter what, it will be okay. Even if neither of us can possibly know what okay is.

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This article has 2 comments.

cupcake said...
on Aug. 26 2008 at 5:14 pm
I love the tunnel imagery - how do people go through WITHOUT thinking about being crushed by all those different things??

rattycat said...
on Aug. 25 2008 at 12:27 pm
love it. it makes me remember a time in my life i had totally forgotten - the time when you think about hands a lot.


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