I’m starting to love public transportation for the break it gives me each day. Just like when my mom drove me to school as a kid, taking the bus frees up an hour and a half of my day to nap, read, conjugate irregular verbs, or simply daydream. Most of the time, I choose the latter.
Taking the same bus line every day allows me to see the same characters all the time-and I do turn the people I see into characters. I’ve started creating back stories for my fellow travelers and become rather invested in their imaginary lives. It’s essentially become my own personal soap opera, complete with customizable plot lines and no commercials.
There’s Mary Kate and Ashley, two girls that seem to be attached at the hip and always wear coordinating outfits on their way to the neighborhood high school,
A beanpole of a boy who always wears his long-lost father’s wool trench coat as a reminder of the one happy winter they spent together,
A young woman who has to lug her baby boy’s monstrous stroller on and off the bus each day, but is glad for the exercise because she’s concerned about the baby weight she gained during her pregnancy,
An elderly couple that just celebrated a milestone anniversary and always walk arm in arm, though I’m not sure whether it’s romantic or because they;re physically holding each other up,
And (my favorite) an elementary school-aged girl who always wears a different color of animal-print pants and plans on singing lead in an all-female rock band when she grows up.
The list goes on. I love thinking about what these people do when they step off the bus: where they go and who they’re meeting. Maybe some of them are foreigners like me, or maybe they’re all Touraine locals. I can only guess from the stops that they take; everything else is a mystery, and I suppose I’ll never know their real stories. Oh well, making them up is more fun, anyway.