A Trace of Perfume.
It is after midnight. The bus is almost empty. There is an old man at the front holding a paper grocery bag. There is a young brown-haired flower at the back. There are faint traces of perfume floating about. There is me, sitting somewhere amongst these things. This bus will stop running in less than an hour. I have about 25 blocks to travel. There is…something…to traveling by bus at night. Certain feelings are evoked; strange combinations of distance and comfort. I’ve always thought that things seem more real at night. The houses look more alive. Perhaps it’s the prominence of yellow light in the windows. The insides become visible, but they are not completely revealed.
Such is the nature of nighttime bus riding. The busses travel along and the city light streaks the windows and the rider’s reflections get painted with streaks of orange and white. Occasionally, one catches a glimpse of a fellow rider in a darkened window. Glances are exchanged through two pieces of glass facing opposite directions. Sometimes, one looks back a few times and finds the same set of eyes looking at them. Sometimes, its just the moving lights.
The old man pulls the cord and exits the bus. He glances to the back before leaving me and the brunette. Then there is almost loneliness. My stop is approaching. The last run of the day tumbles on and I watch the distorted face of the brownhaired girl in the window. It is tempting to stay on until the end of the line. I find myself reaching up and pulling the cord. I find myself getting up to leave. I find my eyes wandering to the back of the bus. She is looking out the window. Maybe looking at the same thing I was. The bus grinds to a halt. That tincture of perfume disappears instantly as I step to the concrete curb and the busdoors slide together behind me.