Writing > Girl at a Bus Stop

Girl at a Bus Stop

By PATRICIA LOWDEN
Published: March 23, 2010

I found myself planning a calculated exit. For months its been like this, still, so still I can hear ghost trains and night owls. Its been so quiet even the thundering love that used to wallop between us now has come to a dull tapping of lungs filling and empting like a paper sack. The plan wasn’t clear for a long time. I was waiting for something. I was waiting for an orchestra of light to shine down, for heroic measures to be taken by angels, for the truth of our meeting to unveil itself at the crucial time. But there was nothing but this tapping that sounded like a clock ticking its incessant ache to move on. It reminded me of the time that exists outside of this place. The silence only became more perfect in its purpose. The louder my own breaths became, the easier it was to begin to see the road ahead of me.

The one road that went through my home town curves slightly like the back of a long black snake. I look right and then left. Nothing. Noone. I bought my ticket this morning. The sun was shining through the clouds for a moment as I handed my money over in exchange for a new direction. It seemed easier than it should have. I expected my hands to be shaking as I dug through my bag for my wallet. They didn’t. They were calm and decisive. My eyes clear and direct as the man at the counter gave me my change and my ticket. He told me to have a nice trip, that the west was perfect this time of year, that in a month the yucca would be blooming in the desert. I laughed and said that’s about how long it would take me to get there on the bus.

I decided to take the last bus. Maybe for a dramatic end to an otherwise ordinary time in my life. Not that there was anything wrong with the ordinary. Its just that it had grown too ordinary. It became riddled with a complacency I had promised myself never to accept. I became complacent. I discovered after a few battles, a few promises, too many nights falling asleep to the violent buzz of the television that I had to make more out of this life, this year, this waking dream. I decided it had to be now. Right now. I began to sort out the details.

It wasn’t her I was leaving. It was who I allowed myself to become with her. Its not that I had become anything terrible or lazy or quiet. If anything I became solid, truthful, and easy. I could’ve sat on our back porch for years and wished on any and every star with her. But she couldn’t see it. And when I finally understood, I knew it was time.

The night is so cold. February is brutal in New York. Its Sunday night. I barely packed anything. A few books for the long haul, my leather jacket, a small map you could fold up and fit in your back pocket. I didn’t say goodbye. I said I was going to the store for cream for coffee in the morning. I left my truck in the parking lot of the hardware store. I would be back. I just didn’t know when. She would miss me, but she would also feel free. I had my hair down. I hear the huffing and screeching of the bus braking as it came over the bridge readying itself for the turn into the parking lot. My hair blew back with exhaust fumes. I didn’t look back and the door opened wide enough for me to see the rest of my life.

Comments

1. stella_russo on March 25, 2010

perfect day dream...solid, truthful and easy. two thumbs up.

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