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Bus Story: Observing the Cries of the World

December 1, 2010

Long Tuesday. “Is it really only Tuesday?” seemed to be the phrase of the day. And the riders on the trip home this dark, wet Tuesday evening have the same look to them. The brooding sounds of Rob Dougan provide an appropriate backdrop to the busload of weary and, in a few cases, whiney riders. Looking around, sourcing the emanations of a weeney-ramble, I spot Entitled Girl talking with Only Barely Listening Boyfriend. It’s something to do with the tone of the way someone looked at her today. You heard me – she’s kvetching about a look she got from some affronting authority figure. I swivel my gaze away, before I throw a shoe at her and I see someone who has reason to be distressed. He’s clearly homeless, or at least on the edge, with his bundle of life on his lap. His eyes are filled with angst, fear and not a small amount of madness. My throat catches. I find myself stuck between righteous indignation at Entitled Girl and a wave of empathetic sadness and frustration for the Lost Man. Then a tall woman enters the bus just before we leave downtown. She’s quite beautiful and of indistinct origin, but from somewhere in Asia. Despite the weather, her clothes seem to be dry and her blouse and pants are almost billowing. She sits, gracefully, opposite the Lost Man. After a moment, she slowly looks at him, directly, without fear or judgement. She smiles. And I feel tears fill my eyes. Her smile is that of care, love, and deep understanding. The Lost Man meets her gaze and the madness in his eyes diminishes, and he, too, smiles, albeit wanly. Wiping my eyes, I realize that Bodhisattva Guanyin, the compassionate one, has joined us on the ole 54. My stop arrives and, having forgotten the whiney girl, I exit, knowing the Lost Man is in the best hands he, or any of us, could wish for.


From → Bus Stories

  1. Elizabeth permalink

    I’m struck by the different aspects of humanity that you see. And how many different references you can pull from your knowledge bank. You are a worldly guy, with such a keen ability to hone in on the essence of what you see. Thanks for sharing. It brings a bit of the world to me.

  2. Made me tear up. You are truly talented!

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