Bus Connection: A Confession

We’ve not known each other for a while now, and I…I need to not say what I think you’re thinking too: what we have on the bus is special.

Everyday, you sit next to me because we get off at the same stop. Some would say this is just convenience, but it’s more than that, and I’m certain you might feel the same way. Or I least I think so. I’m not sure because we’ve never spoken. Or made eye contact. Or directly acknowledged the other’s existence. But who needs words when we finish each other’s…COMMUTE, yes, see,  I was just about to say that!

You get me. I know where I stand with you: I don’t have to worry about letting the other person out, or getting stuck in the press of pre-caffeinated commuters as I try to squeeze past a soul-dead office worker lost in an individual playlist before the doors close and we cross the bridge. If I’m in a different seat because a stranger who’s obviously just riding the bus this one time–because if they were a regular, they’d know that’s my seat, since I sit there everyday–you sit next to me anyway. Because we don’t have to think when we’re together: I can be as mindless as a cow running on muscle memory, just barely aware of my surroundings as I shuffle from one pasture to the next, coming to only when I reach my destination.

Without you, I might have to engage with the outside world, but because you are there, covering my right flank and ensuring I don’t have to interact with a foreign element, I can dwell on what day I should buy a burrito for dinner, and life questions like: “if Commander Data’s hair does grow, as is suggested in “Birthright, Part 1” (TNG Season 6, episode 16), does he ever need a haircut? How much is a haircut on the Enterprise, anyway? I know they don’t use money, but some cultures do, so, what, do they just give free haircuts to visiting races who do you use money? How does that economic system even work?” That’s a good question, and I have you to thank for it. And I’m sure if we talked you’d tell me the same thing, if you’re even the kind of person who notices things like that. Who can say? You don’t look up from your book until the bus stops.

But I know how we work. And yes, Shiny-Haired Girl’s mithril locks are mesmerizing as I stare at the wipers lurching across the windshield four rows up, but that’s just a distraction, a dalliance, a passing daydream.

The two of us, we’re different: we share absolutely nothing. And that’s really something.


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