Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stories all around me

Today's Random Question:  How do the Incredibles' masks stick to their faces?  And if they stick, how are they so easily removed?

I ride the bus to work and back almost every day.  Not a lot of people have conversations on the rides downtown, before work and/or classes at the university. 

I like to greet the bus driver, gently, when I get on each morning.  I like to notice how we both react--are we sleepy, cheerful, distant, grouchy?  Then I pay attention to the people who are already on the bus at the point where I get on.  Very few of them are riders who are on this route at this time every day.

While I sometimes will have reading material to occupy my attention on the bus, I also enjoy just taking the duration of my ride to be mindful of the people around me and the conditions outside.  Yesterday, I sat looking out the window and listened to the cell conversation of a guy behind me.  (It was impossible not to listen.)  He was talking, in varying shades of introspection, about the woman in his life, and how he felt about her.

In just those ten minutes of conversation and from the way he spoke, I put together a fairly detailed idea of who this man was, where he might have been raised, how old he was, that he'd been in jail before, and that he'd had at least one long-term relationship with a woman.  He was unemployed and trying to get on a path of self-improvement.

All these people on the bus all around me.  All these people who share my daily life and space, who I don't really know.  But their stories swirl and flit around me, making me wonder and wonder.  This is the time in my day when I stay unplugged and keep my eyes open.

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