She gets on and immediately clenches her teeth
batteries on her CD player
are dead. Its going to be
25 minutes of silence on the way to work.
She looks around at the other passengers, mostly older
Chicano ladies going home from the 'burbs. She is
going against flow, a lily white salmon heading
She starts looking around the bus and notices, for the
first time the amount of graffiti on the ceiling, the
walls, behind seats. English, Spanish and the coded letters and numbers that gangs use.
U R s0 s63
Brittany duz me
Pedro ama Rosita
And then she sees one little piece. Small dark ink. Hard to see across the aisle. She looks away. But curious, she waits till the next stop and steps over to take a
closer look. Two lines in simple black ink.
You took the stars when you left
The night is black now forever.
No date. No names. Just those two phrases, slashed
into the vinyl. Who would leave such words here? Did
he want her to see, or did he want everyone to know
his pain? It was like a cross, a bouquet left at an
accident site. A remembrance.
A voice over her shoulder. It was one of the cleaning
ladies. Pointing to the words. And the bus rider
notices that she has been tracing the words with her index
Juan wrote it before he died. Such a sad thing that
is. So young. So in love.
Pursed lips and sad eyes, looking out the window,
She thought to ask a question, but it seemed morbid.
So nothing was said.
Hissing of air brakes. It was her stop.
Time to go.