“They don’t know me, but they always insist they’ve seen me somewhere before. They ask my father’s name, where I grew up, if I worked in a small town, at a corner store, a school, or hospital, somewhere helping people get somewhere else.
They say they know me as certainly as they once knew the Periodic Table, the names of local plants and birds, and the title of that piece of music by that composer they once heard.
They always think they know girls like me, girls with, they say, enchanting eyes. Girls like me appear to listen and impress—not with tales of our own colorful adventures—with our mysterious, cosmic silence.”
Sometimes the bus is a luxury liner with colorful, padded seats and drapes to block the afternoon sun. Sometimes the seats are roomy with adequate space for long legs. Sometimes there are enough seats for all of us and all of the things we carry.
Other times, the seat seems to be unhinged from the floor and rocks wildly over the bumpy roads. The padding is worn off, and where plastic once padded metal arms, there is just the steel skeleton. I love to take the bus. I love the variety of the coaches and the people in them. I am always surprised.
I am not yet comfortable enough here to ride with my eyes closed let alone to dare to sleep; I don’t know the sounds, the length of the trip well enough. Although nearly everyone else around me practically snores, their heads “amen”ing over each bump, I have to keep a vigilant lookout for landmarks to make sure I don’t lose my way.