This made me smile yesterday on the bus

I take the bus almost every single day, and I don’t usually smile on the bus. The bus, on a good day, is a time when I can be alone and have some quiet time with a good morning radio show or with the latest Keane album. Unless my wife is with me, I don’t want to be making chit-chat or interacting with people. In fact, random strangers trying to chat me up on the bus really annoys me.

But I saw something yesterday that made me smile.

A woman came on the bus. She looked tired (this was at about 5:30 PM). Her face was drawn down. She had a bit of a shuffle more than a walk. As she was shuffling down the length of the bus heading toward its rear, a seated passenger reached out and grabbed her by the waist without saying anything. For a split second, she looked extremely distressed. I imagined, based on that quick glimpse of her facial expression, that she was thinking, “Oh, my God. I’m being accosted by some crazy person. I just want to be left alone.” But then she turned to look at the person grabbing her, and clearly it was someone she knew. She quickly turned her horrified face into a widened smile and sat next to this guy and began talking to him.

I couldn’t hear anything they were saying. Nevertheless, they were so happy to see each other that I couldn’t help a wide smile myself. I knew nothing about these people. They didn’t appear to be dating. They clearly liked each other and either are or had been emotionally close at one point. Maybe they hadn’t seen each other in a long time. Maybe this guy was visiting the area from far away. Imagine that they happened to be on the same bus at the same time by accident. I loved that moment. I still have no idea who these people are, and they somehow managed to brighten my day at the end of my evening commute.

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2 Comments

  1. I discovered your site for your wonderful ubuntu tutorials and tricks. Very happy to see your poetical side too :-)
    I love the feeling that you are describing. In italian we have a word: “empatia”, from the greek emp├ítheia (en + p├íthos) that means to be able to understand and share the other feelings.

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