the bus tales

Aside

I could write the damn book.

Image (photo via)

Because of what and where I study, I am obliged to take the bus to the university campus every day –well, also because I didn’t bother to get my license and now I’m a virgin who can’t drive (see that Clueless reference?).

Anyway, I take the bus twice a day, one for going and another one for returning home. And, oh my, you wouldn’t believe the stories I could tell.

Most of the time, I just ride with blank eyes and stare into the universe with no special attention, but other times I’m a human sponge. I can perceive if the woman at the seat in front of me didn’t shower today, or if the man three rows ahead forgot to shave a tiny spot of his cheek. Also, I can immediately say if someone is used to taking the bus or not –the scared expression and meticulous bar-grabbing is the key.

The like I ride is one of the longest available in my city and, well, I usually call it the “touristic route” because basically it goes around the principal spots in town. Also, it stops at every University campus so you can see bohemian girls dressed in colours from the Art Degree, busy-looking boys with glasses from the Economy/Business Degree, reeeeally posh-looking girls with tons of make-up who usually are from the Law University and those who seem to really not care about what others may think and read complicated books from the Philosophy campus. It’s easy, you see? You just need a bit of imagination and experience to recognize all the types of students.

Then, you have the creepy old men who sit way too close to you and subtly caress your leg when you least expect it. Those are bad. Just run or stare angrily at them. Usually they will back off and change seats. If they don’t, you change the seat. Unless you like it… hey, I’m not going to judge anyone.

But not old people are creepy. There are the “neglected olds”, as I call them. They don’t seem to have anything to do now, so they spend their day riding the bus and going from one place to another with their gold pass and when they see you staring, they simply start talking to you. They might tell you the most awesome story ever or they might just bore you, but they will not stop until you have to get off the bus. Maybe they won’t even stop then. See? These are nice… most of the time. Unless you’re a bit tired at 9pm and you’re not in the mood to listen to anyone except for the sweet voice singing through your headphones.

Once, the bus had to stop in the middle of one of the busiest streets of the city and three policemen got on. Everyone started to get nervous. What had happened? Did someone get robbed?

I was sitting at the back of the bus, next to a weird looking guy (but you get used to it and you just sit wherever there’s an empty seat). Everyone stared at him. I stared at him. The police stared at him. And he stared out of the window.

“You. Come here”, said one of the policemen to the weird looking guy. “Why, me?” answered the guy. And before he could stand up to confirm our suspicions that he was, in fact, a thief, one of the two other policemen grabbed a guy with a backpack who was trying to go unnoticed in a group of old ladies  and HE turned out to be the pickpocket. Guess we can’t always blame those weird-looking guys after all, right?

I could tell you more stories.

Maybe I will… until then, I’ll be observing and learning some more.

(dis)illusion

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One thing you don’t know about me is how nervous and expectant I become when it comes to new stuff, new people and new events. Like, I can’t even meet someone without thinking “uhm, I wonder if we will be friends? will he/she like me? does he/she hate me already?”. It’s not a normal thing… right?

Does it just happens to me?

You see, you meet a stranger and you’re automatically thinking about the randomest scenarios ever. Like today. I met these two awesome guys and for a moment all I could think about was “what if we became really good friends and ended up traveling the world together?”.

SEE?

I can’t have new things. I can’t meet new people.

Everyone tells me I should just relax and let things flow. Maybe I force them a bit too much? like for example, not being able to speak to someone because you are afraid of what he/she will think of you? Does it make sense?

Maybe I really just need to relax a bit and we’ll see what the future holds, right? Maybe if I go around chasing the occasion, it won’t ever come to me.

But, don’t worry. I haven’t been psycho-thinking of anyone -and I haven’t imagined my wedding with a stranger just yet!!!

What I do is daydream. Most of my time I will not be living in reality, I’ll be imagining some weird scenario in which I’m living alone, or with fifty people, or maybe I’m not living, I’m just a spirit creeping all over you. My thoughts wander from the most normal things like “is the damned bus coming already?” to “does that dog notice that his owner is a jerk?” I look at people at the street and wonder what are they doing with their lives and if they are happy with them. Most of them don’t seem to be. And then, when the stars align, I find myself thinking that life is beautiful and that the song that has been on my ipod since forever but I didn’t quite like is one of the best well-written songs ever.

But I guess that’s just life, right?

Illusioned or not, I will keep walking around, observing things, imagining weird stuff… and maybe, just maybe, telling you all about it.

Teen years

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During the past week I’ve had a couple of throwbacks to my school days, when things were so confusing and I had no idea of where I was going or what I was going to become or who my friends would be when I finally were 21.

Now that I’m 21, I can lay in my bed and remember those days from a bittersweet point of view. Ah, how time flies! It’s actually quite weird because you don’t notice it but then one day you find yourself walking through your old school’s corridors, wishing to see your old teachers, those who taught you so much.

Last Friday I went to my old school and I was amazed to see how things hadn’t changed too much: same teachers, same rooms, same kind of people. It was me the one who had changed. But when walking around the deserted corridors all I could think about was that I had somehow made it. I made it, I got out of there. Not that I hated school (I loved it, actually), but it was a stage of my life that I definitely don’t wish to relive. Oh, those confusing teen years! The fake friends, the temporary depressions and meaningless laughs and tears, the indecision and insecurities… Those are supposed to be gone for good….

… right?

School friends, that’s another interesting point. Do you think you can keep them forever?

For me, I think you will notice who are your true friends after the first couple of years out of school. Who do you keep seeing every week or every month? who do you keep talking to? who keeps being interested in your life?

I consider myself lucky to have the friends I have, some new, most of them old. The old ones have been there since my teen years and I consider them family. Actually, I consider all my good friends family.

Yeah, you can keep your school friends forever. At least, until 21… and counting!

Nostalgia

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Those who know me are aware of my love for the classic Hollywood, the movie stars that wandered around the place during the 40s and 50s. Often I find myself thinking of who would I invite to come over for a special dinner. Oh, to be able to share table with wonderful talented and inspiring people such as Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, James Stewart, Gregory Peck, Alfred Hitchcock, Shirley MacLaine, Katharine Hepburn and Jack Lemmon!

But, even better, imagine waking up one day to find out you are one of those wonderful stars? A luxurious car would wait for you at the door of your fabulous house in Beverly Hills and a driver named Alfredo, Roberto or Anselmo would drive you to a fantastic party in which THESE PEOPLE would welcome you with the hugest of the smiles and the warmest of the hugs.

I guess I better stop dreaming.

Anyway, so my father recorded a special TV program about two of my very favorites: Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. He knows how much I adore these two, so he is always trying to find new stuff for me to see.

First, I watched the bit about Grace. Poor lovely lonely Grace. Didn’t anyone love her enough? Did she marry the Prince of Monaco out of fear of ending alone and unloved? Ironic, isn’t it? thousands of people adored her beautiful little face, watched her every move with admiration and fell hard for her classy ways. But there was something in her smile that made people wonder if she was really happy, after all.

But the tremendous bit came with the Audrey section. Please, picture me, curled up in a ball on the sofa, covered by a blanket while my dad snored right behind me (he has never been a big fan of this love of mine -he prefers western and Humphrey Bogart). So, the screen showed, as this kind of programs do, pictures and videos of Audrey from the days of Roman Holiday to the last days of her life, including those UNICEF trips she realized, trying to help the kids who most needed it. There she was, old, fighting a cancer, with a wrinkled face. Yet she still glowed, she still had that ‘something’ that everyone is looking for or wants to have so desperately.

And just like that, while I watched the photos of this wonderful woman, I started crying. I thought to myself ‘Why am I crying? what am I, an idiot?’. I couldn’t help it, I promise you! the voiceover said something like ‘she remains an inspiration for all the women in the world who said -hey, I can be like that! or I want to be like her’.

After all, we are just poor souls looking for a mirror in which we can reflect ourselves, right? we want to model ourselves after someone, always with our personal touch.

And, in my opinion, we women are lucky to have such role models to look after. I aspire to be Audrey Hepburn. I aspire to be Grace Kelly. And I’ll be glad if my (non-existent for now) daughter aspires to be like them.

Guess we can all be a little nostalgic every once in a while, right?