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Bus Story: Trading Out

July 22, 2015

They hold hands. Affection and appreciation apparent in the manner and the touch. A familiarity is evidence of a long relationship; their aged faces showing two lifetimes of challenges, faced shoulder-to-shoulder. Talking softly, he grips a valise tightly in his other hand, and she, listening to his words, never takes her eyes off of the case. They are plainly dressed, but smartly. Ironed creases in the right places. I cannot hear their words, but the substance is palpable in their eyes: something very important is happening today.  
We ride for a few stops and an unusually dressed young man climbs aboard, and I see them tense, as if deciding to flee or fight. The newcomer is in silk, every color imaginable, it seems. His suit, shirt, and even shoes seem to shimmer as he glides to the seat across from the couple. He turns and, without kindness, smiles at them, and I shiver, instinctively. The couple look into each other’s eyes, and the gentleman hands the case to the silken man, who snatches it like a snake striking its prey. He pops it open and I catch a glimpse of a well worn, but still shiny oil lamp. Like we all remember from stories like Ali Baba. He closes the case, giggles, and dashes off the bus with the speed of a southern wind as we pull into the next stop. The couple sigh as one. With smiles and a look of resignation to their fate, they, too, exit the bus in no particular hurry. 
Owning a magic lamp may seem like a good idea at the time. But the djinn are capricious and vindictive creatures and, what seemed like fine fortune at first, may become a painful lesson in being careful of what you wish for. 


From → Bus Stories

  1. The bus is back! Excellent!

  2. Busboy permalink

    What James Said!

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