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Thoughts on a Bus
I stand here forever, with traffic zooming by me. I feel like everyone is staring at me, wondering why I'm just standing here, like a lost soul.
I don't know what to do with my hands. I try to act like I don't care. I'm cool. I'm above it all.
But inside, I hate it. I hate waiting for the bus.
I don't like taking public transportation. My friend, Alyssa is different. She thinks it's a fun
adventure. I wish I could be more like her, but I'm not.
I guess some of us are public transportation people, and some of us are not.
Finally, the bus arrives. It's about time! I think. I step up the stairs. I confirm my destination and the price. The bus driver gives me a weird look. It's like he can tell I'm not comfortable being on the bus. Or maybe I just imaged he gave me a weird look.
Maybe I'm just being paranoid.
I take my seat. The bus starts up again with a lurch. I grab onto the back of the seat in front of me. I look around. No one else is anxiously leaning forward and holding on.
A few people are reading. How can anyone relax enough to read on a bus? I don't get it.
I keep holding onto the back of the seat in front of me. I feel like I have to hold on, or I will be
jolted right out of my seat. The ride is so bumpy. So different from the smooth glide of a car.
I can look down and see the inside of other people's vehicles. I feel like a weird eavesdropper. I see
the people so clearly, it gives me a creepy feeling.
Hold on, hold on! Whew, that was a big bump! I am holding on like I am on a ride at the amusement
park. Only, it's not fun. There's no laughter or happy screaming. I look around, again. Everyone
looks sort of bored. This is old hat to them. They're used to the jolting, lurching feel of being
on the bus.
I read a paper sign that's taped up. It says: IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SPEAK UP!
Something like what, I wonder? Like a gun? Like a pet scorpion on some one's seat? Like a parent hitting a child? Like Beer? What?
Another sign says: NO TALKING ON CELL PHONES ALLOWED. NO PROFANITY ALLOWED. NO EATING, DRINKING, OR
No Profanity? I think. What about freedom of speech?
No eating? Not even a piece of taffy?
Maybe they're afraid the taffy will zoom out of your hand and get stuck on the floor, and then
people will step in it...
I have all these thoughts buzzing around in my head. Thoughts that can't come out - like bugs
banging onto the side of a glass jar. It would be better if I had someone to talk to.
It would be better if Alyssa was here. Or even my parents. Just someone! Someone to share all these thoughts with.
I wonder what other people are thinking? No one is talking. Are they thinking, Yuck, I don't feel
like going to work today?
Are they thinking, I hope I don't have cancer? or, that girl looks really dumb hanging onto the
back of the bus seat?
Are they thinking, I wonder what everyone else is thinking?
Probably not, because that's a weird thought. Normal people don't have weird thoughts like that, do they?
I suddenly notice a guy sitting towards the front of the bus. He keeps shaking his head, NO.
Uh-oh. Now there's a real weird-o. The noticeable, maybe dangerous kind of weird-o, not the silent
dorky kind, like me.
I stay real still, just staring straight ahead. I don't want to capture his attention.
He's trying to talk to the bus driver.
You're going to remember this day for the rest of your life! he says.
WHAAT? Okay,that is definitely odd.
The bus driver ignores him. The weird guy looks agitated. He starts mumbling to himself. He's probably right. I WILL remember this day for the rest of my life. But not in a good way. Nothing feels good about this day, at all.
Finally, the bus arrives at the mall.
The only problem is, five hours from now I'll have to get back on it.
I can't wait until I can drive.