Thursday, April 19, 2007

who goes there?

riding the bus today reminded me of what i like about being here. the loud ugly dude who got on the bus hollering, "nigga where you at?" to some dude in the back... the wobbly seat that kept people from sitting next to me for fear of tumbling into the aisle... the lady with the raspy voice and the loudmouth kids she brought on the bus with her who were talking loudly about their playdates... the crazy chic who bumrushed the bus in the middle of the street to get on, even though she wasn't at a designated bus stop...

in the midst of all this, i felt at home. it was a welcome change of pace from the office. i felt like a part of society. maybe not the jostling throngs in the equatorially hot marketplace type of society, but society nonetheless. it's nice to talk to strangers, like when i turned to look at the girl who bumrushed the bus and said, "you crazy. you know that, right?" and she retorted, "it worked didn't it?" and we both chuckled.

...or when i was in the most stereotypically urban fast-food joint known to man - that's right, the one that communicates the very pulse of the gallery in center city - and i was watching this woman and her little girl standing in the line, holding hands. some little boy was in another line with his mom and noticed the little girl. neither of the children was any older than three. neither of them said a word. but reading their actions was comical. the curious boy approached the little girl, tentatively, gingerly... she looked at him, and unimpressed, she backed up, around towards the other side of mommy's legs. not easily daunted, the little boy wanted a closer look at the pretty girl. he paused for a second, not having gotten the hint, and then he pressed up again. she was the same size as him! maybe they could play? maybe not. girlfriend backed up, more vehemently this time, and yanked on mommy's arm to let her know she needed more space to get away from that boy. that boy's mommy came and led him away, to the little girl's relief. chuckles were had all around by the grown folks. i said to the girl's mommy, "she got the right idea," and she offered that knowing, shared laugh, which we both learned from our mothers.

it felt good.

before i came here - before i worked two jobs to save enough money to relocate myself - this was what i was looking for - resonation with others. finding myself in others and others in myself. those of us who haven't been without it may take it for granted. but i appreciate it when i get it. i remember what my lonely years were like. i thank the Creator for the bonds i have with my family and friends. and i suppose i should even express my gratitude for the wonder of finding kinship with strangers as well.