I’m writing this while listening to Stan by Eminem on a bus ride home. It’s quite therapeutic to be on a bus where I don’t have to worry about traffic or driving, especially after work. It’s bright, warm, and surprisingly comfortable. There’s a slight drizzle outside. Fits well with the song. Adds to the ambiance. I look up from my phone and see an elderly lady in the front with a colorful striped beanie and a lime green jacket. What’s her story? Where is she going? Does she do this every day? Will I see her tomorrow?
I look around. There’s a guy with headphones waiting to get off the bus. Another middle age girl walks in and sits behind me. I hear her talking in Spanish through my ear buds.
I wonder if she sees me typing about her… I shift my body to the left, lower my phone, and take my left ear bud out. She’s talking quite rapidly in Spanish with pauses here and there. I’m still worried that she’s reading this. She seems angry…
I leave this blank space so she won’t be able to read what’s above. I put the music back to my left ear. Piano, voices, drums, and pencil scribbles replace the bus noise.
Almost my stop. The elderly lady with the colorful hoodie gets up. Same with a balding guy with a skateboard. Soon I’ll be like them; traveling through the cold dark air. Hopefully back to a home with people to talk to instead of isolated strangers on a bus. One can only hope.
I walk now. I see four to five people in the distance. I remove the guitar solo from my right ear just in case they say something. As they get closer I realize it’s only two people. Two Asians, one holding the other one by the arm, guiding him through the sidewalk. They’re both pretty young… brothers maybe? The one being guided has pajamas on with a bowl-ish haircut, and clear rim glasses. Some things off with the way he walks, but I can’t figure it out. I smile and say a muffled “hello” as I walk passed them. I think they do the same.
I’m home now. I wonder if people would read this. How dull is a post about a bus ride, especially a bus ride where nothing happens? I guess this depends on the perspective we choose to take.
For me, this bus ride was filled with something enlightening and beautiful that compelled me to write this. This 30-minute ride took me on a journey away from idolizing after fast cars or billboards advertising strip clubs and fast food. It placed me inside an illuminated rectangle box that moved through the darkness of night. Strangers in every corner. Eye contact never made. Yet something about this environment sparked a curiosity within me for my fellow bus riders that I couldn’t quite figure out until now.
My mom comes in dressed in a contraption of yarn, string and old clothes. It’s a complete mess! She asks me a hundred illogical questions that I half-listen to. I respond with a “yes”, but she continues talking. I lose my temper.
The epiphany is this: We are all lost strangers in this cold dark world searching for someone to hear and record our stories. The bus ride illuminated the souls of these strangers that would have otherwise been hidden in the darkness… My mom comes back in my room, still dressed in an apron of yarn. She reminds me of the two Asians I saw while walking home. One guiding the other by the arm across the artificially bright night. It’s somewhat sad, yet beautiful at the same time.
Oh, how great is this longing and how very few are willing to satisfy it, let alone give notice to it! And how deprived am I that I cannot give the very thing that I write and long for…
But how fortunate are we to have a guide, an example, a teacher, a savior that is driving this bus of life. Life doesn’t end at our stop, it keeps going. Every day, every hour, every place we end up going. It illuminates us with real light that shines not from artificial lamp posts, but from the source Himself. We must take hold of this light because so many people need it.
It’s been two hours since I was on that bus. I’m at home now. This building is illuminated by two lamps. In it, there are three strangers.