Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: COMMUTE (07/07/16)
- TITLE: What Do You See?
By Lisa Hudson
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The rain was coming down so hard on the windshield that we could barely see the road in front of us. I asked my husband to pull in front of the waiting bus, so I would have less distance to run and hopefully avoid getting drenched. Because of a huge puddle next to the bus door, the driver was considerate and pulled the door inward so I could enter without having to navigate the rush of water. My umbrella managed to keep my hair dry, but that was about it. Instantly I was chilled when the cool air came in contact with my wet clothing.
My usual seat a few rows behind the bus driver had been taken, so I sat on the opposite side. I closed my umbrella to keep any more water from running all over the floor. I was grateful for my decision to carry a small throw blanket in my tote, for occasions just like this. I pulled out my blanket and covered my lap. After I placed my belongings on the floor by my feet, I fell in to my normal routine of pulling out my ear buds and plugging them in to my phone. I turned on my music, and tuned out to the sounds of the morning commute.
As I looked out the window to my right, I watched as the rain continued to pour while other poor souls were making a run for the bus before it pulled away. I could see the sun straining to rise above the clouds. I glanced down at my phone again, checking my emails and even watched a funny video on FaceBook. This morning felt odd somehow with the unexpected rain, and being in a different spot from where I had grown accustomed to sitting every day. Even my iTunes list was pulling out songs that don’t usually play as often as others. But I was content and warm.
We still had a good forty-five minutes of travel, so I put my phone down, and looked around the bus. As the song “I’ll Be There” by the Jackson Five was playing in my ears, I noticed most of our regular travelers were seated in their usual places, and some were missing. They probably chose to drive this morning, because of the rain. Or they decided to stay home altogether. Not a bad idea. I have a silly habit of giving names to the people I don’t know. There is one lady I affectionately refer to as ‘Chatty Kathy’ because she never stops talking. I think her name really is Kathy, so it fits. I call another man ‘Big Boy’, simply because he is that, a very tall, big boy. The entire coach rocks back and forth when he boards the bus. Unfortunately, there is a woman I call the ‘Cat Lady’ because, well, she smells like a litter box. Terrible, I know.
I watched as the other passengers were reading or playing games on their various electronic devices, while others were chatting with their seat mates. I wondered if the other passengers did the same thing as me, giving strangers their own ‘pet names’ by what they saw? Then I wondered if they had a name for me, what would it be? Now that was a terrifying thought. What do they see when they look at me? What would I want them to see?
Perhaps they would call me, ‘Smiley Lady’. I have a tendency to smile at everyone all the time. I know there could be worse things to do, but it gets on my own nerves sometimes! Maybe they would call me ‘Music Lady’, since I love to listen to music while riding to work. I have no problem swaying or tapping my feet to my music, even though I’m the only one who can hear it. How about ‘Friendly Lady’ or ‘Good Listener Lady’ or ‘Christian Lady’? Would they know I’m a Christian just by looking at me?
Would they know that I’m a Christian, just by looking at me? I hope so. Then the Lord brought to my memory how I saw the Cat Lady at the grocery store last week and didn’t speak. Or the time she was looking for a place to sit on the bus for the ride home, and I didn’t offer the seat next to me. Ouch. Forgive me Father, please.
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