Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
There are only four of us in the bus. The driver and I smile as I show him my pass, and I take a seat on the left side and gaze out into the winter. The radio is on rather loudly for a bus, but it seems a reasonable choice for a driver on a very slow route. A high school boy with wild hair in tufts that stick out around his head stays hunched over his phone. He has headphones on and it tapping his foot to music we can’t hear. I am about to listen to music myself, to get lost in songs and the spaces we’ll be crossing. I stop short, however, when Eric Clapton’s “Layla” comes on the radio, because someone begins to sing. It takes me a few minutes of looking at the driver in the mirror above his seat before I realize–he’s not the source of the crooning. Instead, the middle-aged man in front of me, just behind the driver, has begun to sing. He belts it out, unashamed, unencumbered by the social pressure of the scant passengers behind him.
I put my own music away, since I feel I’m in the thick of a performance, and a rather good one at that. The next song he also knows, though I don’t recognize it. I listen politely as we pass through a tiny, hilly town. He doesn’t know the words to “Rock the Casbah,” so the singing ceases and the man gathers his things. As the bus slows to a stop, he has a low, quick chat with the driver, who calls out that he’ll “see ya next week,” as our soulful passenger shuffles out into the snowstorm.