Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The bus journey

The first journey brings about unfamiliar faces, unfamiliar places.  Every individual getting on and off the bus strike you as the same. Perhaps you look up every once in a while and notice a few details about certain people. Their hair, the colours of the clothes they are wearing - anything at all that makes them stand out a little to you.

Once you have been on the same bus and route for a while, the passengers start looking different, more familiar. They no longer strike you as all the same people going nowhere or going somewhere. They have different features now, different characters. Some always smile, and some don't. Some are in a rush, some aren't.  School kids, mums with prams(baby buggies), men in suits, young boys and girls. You stare at some of their tired faces, their worn out gazes, probably crying out that they're tired of life, or just tired.

No matter how much you try to make out these passengers' characters, you can never really place them. Behind their smiles they might be hiding pain, or behind their tired gazes there might be a smile lurking around somewhere. Whatever they're stories are, you'll never know. The only thing you know about them is what they allow you to see, whether through a smile or a frown. The only story you have is the one you make up in your mind.

You may think, 'I wonder what he's thinking', or, 'I wonder what she's thinking?' Some passengers never talk - those are mostly the ones who stand out to you the most, the ones you are the most curious about. Because they never speak, you will never know what their voices sound like. Are their voices soft or deep. Rough like sandpaper scraping against wood, or light as a feather?

One day your gazes might lock for a few seconds, then, without expecting it, a friendly smile, or at least what looks like one. You can't have been wrong. The corners of their mouth certainly pulled up into a semi-smile. Might this be the beginning of recognition? Friendship?

You hear certain passengers talk about their birthday, and without thinking much about it, you remember it, because you've registered them in your mind. Your subconscious draws a picture of them and forces you to remember each time you see them.

A bus journey is like life at times. Sometimes you rush through the faces (which represent different phases in your life),  not really paying much attention to them, maybe because you'll never see them again. But sometimes you stop, take note, recognise a few of them - and they become memorable to you, because you've seen them so many times. You know them, but they don't know that you do.  Short moments when people take notice, stop and smile at you, those are the moments you appreciate the most - they represent the moments in your life you'll always remember.

A friendly smile goes a longer way than an unfriendly frown. Keep smiling, because it will certainly make a difference in someone's life. You may not know, but there are certainly people who have already noticed you.