I love to take the bus. It is the perfect excuse to sit and stare happily at people, without seeming in any way odd. As you whiz by your gaze goes unnoticed as you sit observing from your seat on the bus. If you happen to be standing, your eyes can peer down nosily at whatever your fellow bus takers are occupying themselves with. The list of these activities are endless: knitting, reading, chatting, texting, playing with their phone, sleeping, singing etc. As the door opens to receive the new members to the bus, the suspense always catches in my throat. “Who will board today?” I wonder with a tinge of excitement. The bus interior is no more and no less than a stage, full of props and scenes beautifully unfolding before my very eyes.
He wore a hat. A black flat cap and a white and black striped scarf. His legs were brittle and his body seemed to bend forward as if pushed down to the ground by gravity. Down, down, down he trudged to his grave which was seemingly a nearby destination. His fingers unwrapped a wad of dollars from his pocket and he gently paid the bus driver the required dollar bill. As he started to journey to a seat which happened to be located in front of me, the bus commenced to drive and his hand clutched for a seat for stability. Slowly he stepped towards the empty seat, as if walking on the moon. One foot after the other slowly battling its way through the thick menacing air. I was fascinated.
As he finally sat down his phone started to ring. “Bueno?” he answered in a crisp and deep voice that was far warmer than I had anticipated. “No, amor I am on the bus going to get mi pasaporte renewed”. His voice lulled me into its arms. He then started to tell the other person a beautiful confession in a Spanglish so florid and expressive not even Cisneros could have penned such words. ”I always loved her. La verdad es que asi fue siempre. I never told her….Pues, it wasn’t ever the moment. The true moment you always imagine will be right. Pues asi pasa, we get old and realize that the chances only come once amiga.” He listened intently to an answer I would have died to hear and then chuckled knowlingly. “Asi es morrita. Asi es. Pero dentro del dolor hay gozo, in the wishing there is happiness and hope…and I need that. Every part of my pinche body and corazon needs that.” He laughed again and sighed loudly. His hand reached out and rested on the window. He explained how life had separated them. How his son was in prison. “Si, es de esas cosas that you don’t wish on anybody. Pero, what else can we do?” He listened intently. I held my breathe. “Pues mandame el contaco, ayuda es ayuda….a ver que mas podemos hacer. But I think he deserves some punishment, just not so severo, verdad?” He fantazied how one day he tell her everything. “Aunque creo que nuestro amor se realizara en el cielo nomas…Pero you know chata? She must know. How could she not?” He did not sound in any way false, in any way as if he was adding far too much cream to his tale. His voice was sincere and terribly sad, yet, there was a flash of hope in all he said.
I imagined him confessing his love to whoever he indeed did love one day, as he hobbled off the bus and into a large white building which looked menacingly federal in front of his crippled body.
Was he renewing his passport to go confess his love? I will never know. Notice the stories around us all, they are simple reminders of the beauty that lies in all of life, with all it’s pinche parts too. All we can do is enjoy the process, verdad? Enjoy the process.