A woman sat down next to me on the bus today. About half a minute later she stood up and moved across the aisle, possibly after she caught a glimpse of the man opposite us, at least that was my first thought. He was as drunk as one can be while still sitting up, smelling of a long and hard day of beer drinking, and by the sound of his grocery bags he intended to keep it going. He had a mustache that was a couple of months too long that he patted all the time, and the rest of his face hadn’t been shaved in some weeks either. He was tired, and it was strange, actually rather nice to see, that when he yawned his face looked like an infant’s face, in a hard lived 55 or so year old body.
I had pictured him falling asleep on the bus, only to wake up at the end stop in the middle of nowhere. He must have been paying more attention than I had imagined him capable of, cause a few minutes into the bus ride he pushed the stop button and got ready to get off. I followed him with my eyes as he walked towards the back of the bus, and met the half-shocked, look-at-that-awful-person sort of gaze of the woman who had fled some minutes earlier. She even shook her head at me, stretching her lips just a bit, as if she wanted me to conform her superiority over him.
She would have made an interesting portrait. So would he, but that would have been exploitive, in the worst way.
Rest well young boy in aging body.