This morning I watched a bus go by and stop nearby as I walked Mornington’s main street. Schools are on a term break and I have time to amble. I like the notion of ambling. Remember, not all who wander are necessarily lost. I fixed my gaze on the bus for a brief moment. I realized I have not travelled on a bus since returning from
The longer I stayed in
When I first came to live in
On one particular morning, the bus had reached the crowded intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue, where we picked up passengers outside the ubiquitous McDonalds and moved on through the intersection. Across the intersection the traffic stalled, and at this point I noticed a tall man wander out onto the road and move between the stalled traffic. He grabbed another young man, somewhat shorter in stature, who had also wandered onto the road from the opposite side. The taller man escorted his companion to the side of the road. The shorter individual had his hand placed inside his coat and was grimacing and appeared to be experiencing significant pain. He walked along the pavement supported by his companion who was pulling him forward. From the bus window I watched them walk past the car wash and then directly alongside the 69 bus. Momentarily my eyes met with the man clutching his side. Initially I thought that he had been struck by a car, while attempting to cross the road.
The bus moved forward and stopped fifty metres further along Vanderbilt Avenue, the next the designated stop. Two young girls clambered on board and excitedly declared ‘Someone just got shot!’ It was at this precise instant I realized what I had experienced. My mind switched immediately to the face of the young man. -That face, the pain so obvious, the holding of his side as he moved; the look in his eyes. My innocence was swept away in the space of a breath. A woman sitting next to me on the bus turned to me and said “The world is a sad and dangerous place at times like this. I don’t understand”
Strangely the bus driver, the person with an uninterrupted view of the whole episode, had not given the slightest indication that he had seen anything unusual. He just continued to drive the bus. He never uttered a word. Was he just de-sensitized?
The bus continued forward on its route. But for me, the day was no longer the same. Throughout the day I continued to see the face of that young man, and I began to speculate on what had prompted the events of the morning.
Bus adventures, misadventures, and memories of
|A bus in Manhattan not Brooklyn- but a bus all the same!|