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A trippy ride on an American bus


We arrived in New York yesterday afternoon the city was busy with people leaving or coming for vacation, and everyone seemed to be late. As we where waiting for the bus from La Guardia to Manhattan, I came to the conclusion that my pack weight is far to heavy for the trip that I had planned. Somewhere between this computer and -two pairs of pants, two pairs of shorts, four t-shirts, two long sleeve shirts, a collared button down and five pairs of underwear- my pack had become a case of stones.  And as people left the bus, the few of us in thefront bags in hand threaded into the small doors. Christine went in before me while the bus driver started to close the doors on us, “Mind the doors!” he would say over and over. The doors closed on me a third time, tried to squeeze into the cab only to get caught in the doors in the process. The bus was pulled into traffic, as the driver looked out the corner of his eye, wondering what this young kid was doing. “I’m stuck.” My mouth was sour, I assure you dear sir I am not the one that you should have distaste for, in fact I am the one that feels for you the most. “My pack is stuck.” His eyes where still on the road as he began to talk to me, opening the doors at the same time -“Next time you come on the bus take off your knapsack. If I have to move you have to fit.”

The bus was standing room only at this point, younger men sleeping in their seats as senior citizens sweated in the swaying heat of it all.Everyone standing was letting their head fall to one side or the other so they could look out onto the street, off of the bridge, or into the parks as we rolled by. Christine had managed to push into the heart of the bus, while I was stuck with my new friend the driver. My feet where so close together that there was no way to find any balance, save the hand rail on the ceiling. Stop and go. Stop and Go. When the bus would stop so that someone could get out, five more people would get in. Different hands on different hips, everyone sliding into one another, there where no options available. I smiled shyly for a few blocks as an older latino women was pushed back into me, and my pack was pushed into a businessmen, who began to grumble loudly about his situation. The old women had her back to me and was so close at this point that through the friction of her body against mine I could tell that she had a cesarean section five years ago, she sprained her left ankle two days ago slipping off of a curb, and that she was tired not just of the bus but of living her life, of her job and her children, everything except the Brooklyn Bridge.  That night she would sleep with her windows open like most of New York, she would look out and see that wonderful bridge impervious to the darkness, as she lost herself to it -unable to return from sleep in the morning.

The air was very cool on the street, walking in and out of the setting sun light….there’s more to write here, but I just haven’t.

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