I've lived here for three weeks now, but I only know that because I rang a girl to tell her I wasn't ignoring her
, specifically, and she told me.
It was time to go to my olds' for a weekend. I was going to take everything I need to survive, journalpillowtoothbrush but in the end I just carried a stack of books into town to return them to the library and caught the bus home.
I wish I were cool and collected when strangers spoke to me, because they do that a lot and I never get used to it. I won't mention the people who commented on my stack of books because, although it's occasionally nice just to be reminded you exist in this world, they meant nothing to me. They were just ok, about the same as everyone else who doesn't actively make my life miserable.
I usually sit right by the back door on the bus, but this time I just slumped into the first seat available, opposite some girls with cold gazes and level chins... on buses almost everyone looks out the windows, but I only do this when there's another bus to look into. First stop and smoky blue eyes that don't contact with anything around them, kinda wish she'd sit somewhere where I could just watch that face, but...
(It's always hanging time on buses for me. Either I meet people who I only see in transit and talk to about anything they want to, looking for something I want to talk about, or there's nobody I know and I wish I could summon the interest in all these others to find out if they're more interesting than I imagine them to be.)
Second stop, outside the hardware store and the mall, purple old ladies with eyes that have grown to fill their lenses, and in the process become more dilute, girls who I would desire more if I were three years younger and they chewed less gum, and head of the queue an old, bloated man who scavenges and smells of urine and moves so slowly that the one time I spoke to him, the memories surfaced like bubbles in treacle.
I vacate my seat and look for a free one further down the bus, where I won't be in the way.
The only free seat is next to the girl with the eyes, and behind Sex. I call her that because she's shaped kinda liked pressurised fantasy. She takes up two seats because she crouches behind her perfect legs and glares at anyone who comes close. She used to catch the bus, back when I used to, even lived over the fence from me for a few weeks, but we have never spoken. She sits in profile to me, her clothes are perfectly smooth, like her makeup and eyelashes and hair and stare. Eyes is more interesting, but I'm not really in the mood for Looking. I sit next to this stranger with the elsewhere-focussed eyes.
It's weird, this whole node is only really about the next paragraph or so but what happened has made that whole ordinary, sad day into something slightly different. It all coheres because of this single moment.
I wonder if maybe I should say hello, maybe talk to her, reach out, but I can't tell her about these last few months. I can't say anything that doesn't demand solace. So I sit in silence and for some reason I can feel this perfect contact along the side touching her. It's a game of give and take, intruding on another's space like this, and our games complement perfectly. I relax.
Halfway through the journey, she says, very quietly, without looking over, "It's really comfortable sitting next to you."