Sunday, June 07, 2009

BUS STORY # 136 (Portrait # 3: Brit)

He sits in the back, on the driver side, usually on the bench facing the rear doors. Sometimes he reads. Sometimes he just looks at the rear door.

Late 60s, tall, spare, impeccable posture – never crosses his legs. Always wears a driver’s cap. Today’s looks like dark leather or moleskin. He has several – tweeds, corduroys, solid wools.

An unlikely purple muffler hangs down either side of a dark green car coat. When the weather is warmer, he wears a suit jacket or sports coat. For all I know, he’s got one on under the car coat.

White shirt, solid burgundy tie this morning. I can’t tell from here, but I’d guess wool rather than silk. Dark blue pants, dark socks, thick-soled black shoes.

His skin doesn’t look like it’s seen a lot of sunshine.

The first time I checked my recollection against the real rider, I was surprised he doesn’t have a moustache. I’d given him a William Powell, in white.

His expression is fixed, but hard to read. I can’t tell if he is enduring having to take public transportation, or if he can’t believe who they’re letting ride the bus these days. Maybe it’s just that he still has to go to work. I run through a gamut of stock phrases and come up with “stiff upper lip.”

He gets off at the University, and he carries a dark blue cloth briefcase with him onto the campus. I’ve made him an English professor –British literature, of course. But I’m gonna have to contrive a greeting one morning to find out what I really want to know. And I’ll be amused if, as I suspect, he turns out to be from this side of the pond after all.

Thanks to KG in Albuquerque for this week's feature story: This Week In the USA.


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