Caveat lector: I had originally planned on putting this wirteup in a non-daylog node entitled "Her name is Lisa," but then thought about the nature of what I am going to talk about, and decided that it was, in the lingo of e2, too GTKY for a stand-alone node. Hence, it is here!
So, it's maybe October, or thereabouts, and I am standing at the bus stop on Carson Street. There isn't anything particularly special about the day at this point - perhaps because it was still rather early. Many of those who waited with me were the people whom I see every of a particular day during the week, and I presume we have similar schedules. It's unfortunate that I know not the names of my fellow bus stop waiters, for sometimes I have the distinct impression that a few or more of them may have something interesting to say. However, it is unlikely that I will be the one to strike up a conversation with any of these denizens of Pittsburgh, as I tend to shy away from social situations. Sometimes, as I am about to describe, it can be rather painful.
As I was saying, the day was uneventful for the time being. The same faces, the same bustle of cars moving past the stop, the same unloading of packages and various cargo from the shipping trucks parked along the street, and even the same delay of my bus. Nothing new here. Then, like the proverbial ray of light, I see someone stand out from the crowd. Her hair was dark, and her eyes were burning intensely with deepness. She stood about five foot eight, and had just the slightest hint of femminine facial hair - the soft kind that is practically invisible, yet strangely attractive in so many ways.
Thus began my quest.
Perahps the word "quest" is somewhat of a misnomer. Perhaps "directed casual voyerism" is a better phrase for this bill of goods, in spite of it's lenghty nature, and my desire for concise explanations. At any rate, yes, I had begun. It's strange to remember someone without a name attached to the face, because, even if they are somewhat memorably, they tend to melt into the memory of the day, lost in the amalgam of a thousand breif experiences. Yet, something about her stuck. What was it? I wasn't quite sure. Ceritainly, I do not recall the feeling as something sexual in nature, but more of an intense drive to know her - to talk on esoteria and watch the fire of the world burn together. So, in short, she stuck. An interesting affliction I am blessed with indeed.
Weeks passed, and either my memory went limp (unlikely), or I was simply not crossing her path as often as I would have liked. I saw her waiting a few times in November, but no more than I could count on one hand - and none of those times had I surfaced the courage or mania to say hello. Perhaps I procrastinate on these things because I spend too much time rehearsing, planning, devoting entirely too much of my time in a waking dream, crafting the perfect approach, the perfect execution of every deft movement. Alas, no deft movements took place.
December. Snow! It was Thursday the 5th of December, which is the last day of classes in my fall 2002 semester. I had been up all night the previous evening, working on a research paper on nanotechnology, for an economics class. Incidentally, it snowed! I love snow! I digress. I was dressed in only a pair of polar bear pyjamas and a light jacket that morning, despite the cold weather and the frosty percipitation. And there she was, in all her jasmine splendor, wearing a black cloak. The euphoria from the snow was causing me to smile quite a bit at every person who happened to glance at me (or me them) so, I believe that Thursday was the first time my smile caught her eye.
One week later. Honestly, I can't recall the day of the week, which is odd - though, I am sure that if I think hard I could figure out what day it was. I want to say it was a day I had a final exam, but that seems likely, as Monday my exam was late (and I remember the scene with her in daylight); Tuesday I received a ride home from a friend; and Thursday I recall... not much. I need to spend more time on this to figure it out. What I do remember, however, is what happened with respect to my querey. As usual, I was standing at the stop, waiting for the glorious 54C to lumber down Carson Street. She stepped up to the curb! She had covering her ears a set of headphones, and she wore her traditional black cloak - but! - this time, she also had her backpack on. (Perhaps she always did, and I simply never took notice of the precious gem which was attached to one of the zippers.) Lo and behold, my dear, dear epicenter of the bus stop universe had a wooden carving attached to her bag, which read "Lisa." Lisa! Her name is Lisa! All the weight which was so much of a burden on my shoulders seemed lifted at that moment, and I trembled deep inside with all the anticipation and excitement of a ruddy young schoolboy. Her name is Lisa.
So, now I had the opprotunity to say hello in a more personal (if frightening) way. Of course, no chance of that happening before the bus arrived. Einstein was perhaps correct when he asserted that "When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it's longer than any hour. That's relativity." And all I had were a few minutes in the morning.
You will notice that I never mention seeing Lisa on the return trip to the South Side. Why? Perhaps we have different schedules. That is the logical explanation, of course. At any rate, not once during the three months of silent and passive viewing had I taken notice of her on the ride back every day - so, you can imagine my surpise (pleasant!) when, lo and behold!, I saw her climbing on the bus at the Craft Avenue stop!
Be still my beating heart.
I often feel like somewhat of a cosmic mooch when I pray for blessings of this nature - but when they are so blantantly delivered for me, I feel almost obligated to act upon them. And, as a matter of fact, I had been looking for something to tell me that the day was over, and was done in good fashion. A sign from somewhere, maybe, or just a smile from a friend or stranger. Forces of the universe deliver Lisa to the seat two in front of me. It was if I was being pushed into saying something to her - anything! But, not knowing a person at all is reason enough for me to shy away.
She was carrying a plastic bag or two in one hand, and it really appeared as if she needed some help getting off the bus - but I stayed back, and simply took the path to my apartment, without greeting her. I did, however, notice that she went left where I went straight. So, it seems as if she lives a few blocks East of me.
School starts on 6 January for me. I won't be so shy this time.
No, not you, consuela.