The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Rock With You

The bus is running and the doors hang open, but not a single passenger climbs in. At other gates people impatiently crowd the doors, but at #3, everyone waits on an attendant to compel them. Circles of conversation form. Suitcases of various colors and cardboard boxes reinforced with twine are piled just outside the cargo area. No one moves before required. The ride to Pristina would take fifteen hours, after all.

Some men stand in a pack of five with a small boy among them. The boy adopts the posture of his heroes: wrists on their hips, hands behind their backs. They rock on their feet and rush their last cigarettes. The boy waits below the smoke, but directly in the cloud of fumes from the idling bus. He cranes his neck toward the wisecracks being traded above.

From a nearby bus or an unseen loudspeaker, the boy perks up at a Michael Jackson song. He spontaneously breaks into a set of moves, right in the center of the group of non-dancers. The men let him be a kid, one offering him a scatter of applause. The boy tugs down an invisible hat on his head and shoots his other hand up in a skyward point. Almost as quickly, he slides back into the posture of the men, like nothing has happened, still rocking on his feet and twitching happily at the briefly permitted impulse to dance.

-Vienna Südtirolerplatz.

park in vienna, sculpture of chil

7 comments on “Rock With You

  1. Steven Wordsmith Lincoln
    January 25, 2012

    Awesome. Simply awesome.

  2. thenicethingaboutstrangers
    January 25, 2012

    Michael Jackson, you know. He’s universal!

  3. altruistico
    January 28, 2012

    I can picture his breaking loose in the midst of such older more ridged adults. Then holding pattern in silent respect for theirelderly positions…. but for a moment – he was a kid once again.

    Nice piece – brought back some of my own antics as a child… loved it!!!!

    thanks too for the follow: hope i never let you down.

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      January 28, 2012

      Hi Michael,
      How’s your Moonwalk? I’m pleased that you liked the story that I was lucky enough to see. I look forward to reading and following your work. I am never let down by honest writers. 🙂

  4. billduff
    September 8, 2012

    One of the first to host a “flash mob” – a mob of one? Fantastic.

  5. ChristineR
    August 11, 2014

    As usual, you make me see what you see. 🙂

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