Saturday, April 30, 2005

Signs & symbols

To my right on the bus yesterday, an old woman with one wrinkled palm open, writing invisible words on skin with her finger. To my left, an elderly man makes tiny chops at the air with his open hands.

Across the aisle, a young Indian woman, exquisitely dressed and made up, an expectation of deference in her look. She pouts her ruby lips, pushes her brows together, and shakes her head minutely. I look around, is she talking to someone else? No, her eyes look inward. She mouths silent words; piety, disgust, shock, seduction, in miniature expression across her face.

The doors open, and I get off. A man sitting alone at the bus stop claps his hands together, loudly, deliberately. Once, twice, three times.

The signal has been given.


Daniel Heath said...

I need to ride the bus more often.

At first I was thinking the guy clapping was like the bus stop was a shinto shrine... after all, there seems something spiritual about that whole experience and I'm not altogether convinced it was a real bus you were on... but no, you're only supposed to clap twice at the shrine...

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