Sunday, October 10, 2010

BUS STORY # 205 (Portrait # 9: On the Powwow Highway)

I didn’t see him until he moved to the front of the bus. Young Native American kid, no more than mid-20s, but with an inscrutable, somewhere-else expression that was older.

Dressed all in black. Black baseball cap with a black and purple headband over it so that it covered the cap logo and both his ears. Where the logo would have been, a metal roadrunner was pinned to the headband.

He had a backpack with a bicycle pump sticking out of it, and a great chain worn bandolier style. His black jeans were tucked into gaiters.

He’d moved to the front where he sat on the edge of the seat with his eyes fixed on the road ahead. He looked utterly unselfconscious, utterly focused, utterly self-contained. There was something oddly out of time and place about him.

Later, I watched the way he took his bike off the bus rack, and I realized everything he was wearing had a specific purpose, and that purpose was the bike. And then I had the sense that he and the bike had still another purpose, and that it was serious and not of the white man’s world.

I would have had him get off at Tramway and ride north toward Sandia Pueblo, or else at Turner and ride east toward the mountains. But he got off at Eubank, and walked his bike past my window back toward town.

He disappeared before the bus made it to the intersection.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

fascinating observation, well told.

5:31 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Thank you for your kind words, BBBH.

3:48 PM  

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