Publicly Curious

Who are they? Where are they going? What are they thinking?

The lady with the red shoes looks tired; does she work? Is this part of her daily routine? Has she become numb to the other seven people sitting around her?

The bus is slow, pulling over at almost every stop. Picking up more people. More faces. More stories I’ll never know.

Here comes a kid now; short, cropped hair, skinny jeans and a backpack. A school kid. Which school? Is he popular? Do those expensive shoes get him girls? Do they get him guys?

A lady sits beside me, prim and proper and pretty. Her purse is pink, to match her sweater. She’s maybe the CEO of some fancy company, or a real estate agent.

The man in front of us taps his phone screen constantly. Texting who? His wife? His girlfriend? His brother, uncle, sister, acquaintance?

I want to observe them more, but staring is rude and I dare not be rude. I just want to know who they are. What their stories are. How they feel.

But now it’s my stop, and I’m climbing off, and nobody’s noticing. Nobody’s wondering who I am. Nobody cares what my story is, or where I’m going, or what I’m thinking.



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