Every morning I wait for a sleepy yellow bus to turn up at the end of my street. My wind-swept street, rain washed street, bathed in golden sun street. The small group of usual suburban commuters lingers around. Tired office workers, woman with large hips and thick pink lipstick, students hunched over their readings, with fingers busy over small keyboards on even smaller gadgets. Plugged in the cyber world. Dragging their glorious youth through the morning of our “real”, material world. Oblivious to it.
When bus arrived this morning, I heard my name called. That startled me. Young woman was smiling at me between the raw of bus chairs. I recognized her face. We attended some classes at University together. I smiled at her and she moved few steps to sit beside me. I could not recall her name, but sound of her voice evoked images of her in that class; always punctual, focused, eager, assignments completed before their deadlines. Well pitched presentations. Great networking skills. Brisk movements and sharp eloquence.
Sounds cascaded over me in rapid succession of questions. She wanted to know how I am, where I work, what I do, and many other things besides.
She quickly explained how it was a very lucky coincidence we met; her car, (rather a new model) has been left in the garage for service, otherwise she would have never taken a bus to work. Only recently she was asking others from our class about me and where did I end up. She works for prestigious firm in downtown. And what about me?
It was at that moment I noticed her well cut business suit, soft leather briefcase and gold-rimmed glasses. From the corner of my eye I caught the glimpse of rain starting outside and a small boy running across the road holding his mother’s hand tightly in his.
She clasped my hands with both hers and asked me again what is that I do now? Word quietly slipped through my lips before I could stop it; “I write” was all I said.
“Oh really? You mean like court reports?”
“No, not really.”
“So what do you write then?”
“I write stories, and poetry and posts for my blog.”
“Oh, I see you mean you are writing for a publisher?”
“No, I have not published anything yet.”
She unclasped my hands and adjusted her glasses. She then glanced over her watch. Shifted in her chair.
“I heard some time ago that you landed government gig after the grad school” she observed.
“So you do actually have a real job?”
“I work there during the day, if this is what you mean.”
“But they pay you right?”
“Good for you.”
“Oh I think I better get off here.”
“So why do you write that stuff then?”
“Because I can’t help it.”
She was already on the pavement, walking briskly and purposefully. To the top-notch law firm.