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Attractions at a Bus Stop

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A short man shuffles his forty seven years of living bone across the freshly painted cross walk not minding whether his feet streaked the drying white paint out of their lines and continues to shuffle the same forty seven years of tired bone up the rubber steps of a city bus. Public transit has become his favorite past time.  

            A Hispanic woman. Age at about twenty nine, hangs limply on a green painted park bench after a long day of answering telephone calls. Her right hands still squeezes her cell phone, out of habit, or fear that it will plummet to the ground and split in two. The phone presses against her sweaty Puerto Rican skin as she chats to her sister about the gringa loca that keeps calling about a sprinkler that was installed with attention deficit disorder in her front lawn. It’s still not green enough. The left hand of the woman is persistent in scratching and loosening the shoelaces between sighs caused by the early October heat, they seem to have been tied too tight that morning.  

            An eager young black man sprints manically across the intersection, perfecting the movement of traffic and the stop lights that continue to block his path. He pretends he’s a lion-deep in the bowls of the African jungle heaving and thundering his heavy animal body to destroy the carefully constructed paths he usually makes to spy on the hyena. He dodges the cars and whirls around still with a spark of yellow in his eyes and a smirk, as he comes back to human form. He’s gonna make that train. He tightens his grip on his backpack and hurls himself forward as his animal like legs refuse to stop until he gets through the mouth of closing doors. He cannot afford to be late to another interview and already hears his futures loud gestures mocking him in another jungle far away; it’s why he’s running so fast in the first place.

            Somewhere between the departing buses, one of which has a load of forty seven year old bone, the park bench that keeps accumulating pearly beads of sweat with every burnt out sigh, and the lion who jumped on the 3:00 train, sits the marble lady; a motionless portrait of tranquility with eyes uninterrupted by the sun. The two have a staring contest and no tears build up in the crevices of her wide eyes. She sits and focuses at the big yellow circle in the sky that has no apparent form, or even shape. For a moment, she has won the contest and the October sun hangs lazily down. For an instant the edge of her chiseled right brow also hangs too low, looking fixedly into the light as its beams stream down her crystalline chalky skin, untouched and envied by humankind.  Her arms hug her plump thighs to her chest, guarding what she loves most. Her head is cocked straight up to the yellow circle- an eternal mirage to the day runners, who catch trains, drive cars, run red lights, push open doors and are always looking down. To look upward every now and then to the divine presence that ignites the fire of life over our heads, maybe our immortal eyes would adjust to the brightness and we would begin to see things through the spotlight that guides us all. Or maybe we would just turn into marble.

Comments (3)

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This is a very good character piece, and the descriptive language you use to outline each character helps create a sense that these are actual living people and not two-dimensional plot fillers. I do think there may be potential in expanding this...

This is a very good character piece, and the descriptive language you use to outline each character helps create a sense that these are actual living people and not two-dimensional plot fillers. I do think there may be potential in expanding this piece, possibly creating a scenario in which these player's lives intersect through some happenstance causing a revelatory experience in their otherwise routine existences? Either way, I like it, and look forward to reading more of your prose.

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Thanks for the feedback Brandon, I am just delving into the realm of prose (hell, and poetry too) so I appriciate all literary advice.
I have very little patience with getting my ideas onto paper in a clear, concise way, so I often create...

Thanks for the feedback Brandon, I am just delving into the realm of prose (hell, and poetry too) so I appriciate all literary advice.
I have very little patience with getting my ideas onto paper in a clear, concise way, so I often create loopholes or pathways in my writing so I can skip the mind boggling experience of getting it on paper.
(Something I will continue to practice and eventually have the patience for)

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i agree with brandon. i liked these characters and wanted to know what happens. your descriptions are awesome.

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