Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
I like to imagine the shuttle bus from the airport to Taksim Square is a tour bus for my band. Of course, I’m in this band with about 40 people who all need time to “get in the zone,” so we don’t speak and may not see each other again. We’re not a very good band. Yet, we are heading into this chaotic city, crossing a bridge, careening along next to trucks packed with produce. As we pass another bus with perhaps another band, I smile at an elderly woman–clearly their drummer. She blinks at me. Later her bus passes mine. She smiles at me this time.
When the sun hits at a certain angle, I can see my reflection as I look out the window. Sometimes looking back at myself is incredibly vulnerability-inducing. So I try to think of the adventure and not how quickly I’ll be one among in the Istanbul crowds, hunting for my rented room, toting a heavy suitcase. For now, I am on tour.
I peer down into the cars of the drivers below and note how they hold the wheel. Most use only one hand. Some smoke, some check their phones. One woman has her hands on each side, weaved through the first structure of the wheel toward the steering column, like she’s holding handlebars. Many people rest a hand on the passenger seat and sometimes there is a passenger under that hand. I see men with their fingers tracing the coat of the woman at their side. There’s one woman with her hand on the man at her side–though he has his hands interlaced and his eyes on her speedometer. I notice lots of children in the passenger seat, close to the dashboard, clutched into the laps of their mothers.
In the back seats, women and ladies laughing, talking, and gesturing. Men in back seats try to look stretched out and comfortable. In a sedan, a little girl rests with her feet on the back window, wearing striped socks over her striped leggings, with her hands behind her head in a posture of true repose for dreaming.
It’s a wonderful place to begin a tour.