Thursday, February 05, 2009

He is waiting for a bus. A transfer, actually, halfway between home and the people he's left behind, all of whom drove home to their sheltered little boxes. The lack of transportational assistance makes him feel both indignant and proud that he isn't like them. Couldn't be if he tried and right now he enjoys that, in no small part due to the unseasonably balmy weather. Also helping his mood is that he is at one of his favourite busstops. He thinks it odd to have preferred stops but then again this is hardly the most bizarre of his idiosyncrasies. This is one of those mega-stops where about two dozen buses stop, which always leads to a fascinating motley crew of people waiting around. The urban wannabe couples are a popular archetype tonight; the tall men in baggy pants with their petite lady friends wearing the opposite, but both in jackets with fur-lined collars. There is always a fair bit of affection, nothing too intimate, just some hugs and hair kisses, made all the more sweet due to the practical nature of body heat in winter. It would make him sick with jealousy if he for a moment wanted their lives. No, he prefers to stand alone. He feels alone, ever the observer. Sometimes he imagines himself at the bus stop where he is, acting as they act and it makes him smile, not because he finds it remotely appealing but rather because the idea of finding himself in this situation is ridiculous. Is there anything more counterproductive than a romantic defeatist? he wonders. He also stands alone to get a better look at the beautiful ones. Both genders may qualify, but rarely does a woman make the cut. She needs to stand out, through stature or dress, perhaps her nose. He finds himself staring at tall girls with pixie noses most often, quite the opposite of those waiting tonight. For the men he has much lower standards or perhaps he's just learned not to care as much. Once you've had your share of variety you become more forgiving towards clothing, mannerisms. While his eye naturally goes to the lanky, woolen coat-garbed hair product afficionados, he is always more intrigued by the blue collar types. He chastises this fetish as elitist but secretly loves the classist voyeurism. Bonus point for being short or wearing skateboard shoes; two for carrying a hockey stick. He likes to find the most intriguing one and stare as much as possible without being caught or noticed by the other soon-to-be passengers. Sometimes there are two and he must split his focus back and forth; a pervy tennis match, he thinks. For love. Tonight, however, his singular attention is drawn to one who meets the short requirement; spikey blond hair, eyes of a boy bander, sneakers. Close enough. The boy's posture is appaling, which is just fine. He loves flaws; makes it safer to have his own. Exchanging what he dislikes about himself is practically foreplay in the right setting. The wind picks up, chilly, filling the air not with scent so must as olfactory sensation. It is a feeling of smell, like if he could see with his mouth or taste with his ears. It is the wind that comes on a night when it is warmer than it should be and reminds you that this is your fortune and not your right, that you are existing in privilege within its warmth, bringing you down a few notches. It is the wind of tears, causing them to spring forward not only as the involuntary reaction to air on eye but also as a reminder that this moment is simply a compilation of these same winds which came before during actual memories. These were moments that will be remembered, not like this, a pathetic game played at a busstop to pass the time and to forget that he is standing there alone. As the water evaporates off of his eyes, his vision becomes clear once again and he sees the boy looking at him looking at the boy. He turns away and runs a gloves finger along his lashes, wiping the corpses of tears away. The bus pulls up.


Michael Park said...

Well written! Graham at Vaughan?

The Illustrious D said...

You know it!