Musings on the bus

Free writing while taking the bus from campus to home. Another piece that needs a lot of work and direction.

I sat there on the bus letting Yo Yo Ma's Unaccompanied Cello Suites permeate into my skull. Pushing it's way in like a parasite; unseen with the naked eye but every twitch and flex felt deep within. The bus vibrated intensely leaving me feel like I was inside of some strange metal animal, robotic and sterile. All clean lines and mechanical hums. I was sitting perched on the bench which palpatated beneath me, legs hooked into the empty head rest ahead, each bump in the road bouncing the muscles of my thighs. I felt on edge, like a waking limb, like a hundred minuscule pricks of a needle. I hadn't experienced deja vu in years but the entire span of the day had felt like a relived memory; a strange prophetic dream. I could hear a faint crinkling of some sort of wrapper coming from a seat behind me. The smell of chocolate drained into my nostrils like a thick sweet sludge. Voices low, conversations incomprehensible over the lilt of the cello escaping from my ear phones. I could see a man talking on his cell phone, his hands gesturing wildly with such determination as he switched the phone from one ear and back to the next repeatedly. I could feel eyes on me from an aisle seat to my right. Some young black boy with his hat tilted to his side, the color of his skin melting into a cheap pair of knock off ray bans providing some security. Some aspect of safeness from the vulnerability of our naked eyes peering into each others. The drumming of his fingers flowed with my music in such a way to contribute only to the surreal fog of the day and I turned up the volume.

With a large bump in the road I am jarred from murky thoughts floating their way over my eyes, drawing me deep into some channel of my subconscious. A woman's voice, much too loud for such small quarters, bores through Beethoven's Sonata Pathetique which only moments before had been pulling me farther away from reality. 

"How are you guuuuys? What are your naaaames?" She shouts this over the seats to a couple sitting behind me in a strange exaggerated slow drawl. Her lips, too full for her face, hang heavy like deflated balloons, her blue eyes making their way around the features of the couple.

"We're good," they reply in unison like a single organism, carefully leaving their names out of the response.

"Well thaaaaats good," the woman drags onto her words, thick like cough syrup. Her headband keeps slipping down onto her forehead despite constant adjustments. "Where are you guys headed?"

"No where in particular, just taking a little trip," the man responds for both of them this time. I can't see their faces but I can hear the clink of the woman's jewelry. Perhaps a ring knocking against her bracelets, or the slight movement of her earrings as she quietly clears her throat. I picture her patting her husbands thigh with quick anxious movements, put off by this woman's brash inquisitiveness. 

The lady in the headband faces forward again and stares out the over sized window down at the road, the painted lines splitting off into different lanes. I've never seen her on this route before but she holds a strange familiarity. There is a cloudiness about her like, she too, is drifting in and out of her surroundings. She holds a cell phone up to her ear and leaves a message for her mother. Her voice is filled with a strange innocence, and there is a pleading nature that envelops her tone. She hangs up and turns her attention back to the couple. I am inexplicably transfixed on this strange entity, her presence reinforcing the dreamlike quality of the day. Not a thing about her makes sense.

"You know, my family used to raise prize winning sheep and goats," she states matter of factly, wiping the screen of her phone off on her sleeve. Without waiting for a response she continues talking, "You'll like the next town we stop in, it has a lot of history and my dad says there's lots of spiritual activity there from the Civil War."

At this the man clicks his tongue against his teeth, "Well I don't agree with that, I only believe in what I can see." Jewelry still clinks nervously in my ear, slightly more vigorous now.

With that the woman turns back around, leaves another message, and continues to stare down at the asphalt rushing by. 

The End

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