Monday, 15 March 2010

Write of Passage Number Ten

I'm sitting rather closer to the front of the bus than usual when a child in a stroller is parked in front of me. (I don't know what the practice is for strollers and wheelchairs on buses in your part of the world, but in Hades, those sitting in the very front sideways seats hastily move back and the seat is flipped up so the stroller or wheelchair can be parked, usually facing the back.)

The child in this stroller is unusual, somehow unbabylike, a large head with a longing, searching face, rather like that woman in the Holman Hunt painting The Awakening Conscience. She earnestly scans the passengers in the bus as if on a religious mission. Suddenly, she breaks into a luminescent smile; someone has acknowledged her. Just as quickly, she's back in questing mode, but someone else gives her a tiny wave, and her face is radiant again. I'm a little farther back, so it takes a while for her to notice me. I'm ready with my grin, so I can claim my dazzling prize too.

She's busy distributing her graces when I get up for my stop. As I reach the back door, I happen to glance back at her. Our eyes meet, and the smile I get this time is a little more hesitant. She slowly lifts her hand and points to the side of her head. After a brief pause, I think I understand, putting my finger on the white iPod bud in my ear. I nod. A brief answering flash of light, and she returns her focus to those continuing the ride. I step down to the sidewalk, and the bus departs.


BwcaBrownie said...

I always think it must be really trippy to be a little kid trying to make sense out of people encountered.
This post is more than a post-it, it's a beautiful vignette.

Persephone said...

Why, thank-you for saying so!