Sunday, December 04, 2011

BUS STORY # 265 (Portrait # 15: In Country)

Hank Grant: Bible & A Bus Ticket Home downloaded from the CD Baby website by busboy4
Hank Grant: Bible & A Bus Ticket Home, downloaded from the CD Baby website by busboy4 on Flickr.

He’s young, college young, and he’s got a country boy’s face, open, but looking slightly perplexed, or maybe anxious, at being in the city.

Black T-shirt, blue jeans, black athletic shoes. He’s got a small tattoo inside his left forearm which I can’t make out. He’s got a black notebook and a larger, soft cover book with gold-edged pages and a red ribbon page marker showing near the spine.

I’m thinking Bible.

He opens the notebook and looks at the page. There’s handwriting top to bottom, and a heavily-outlined box near the top of the page with more handwriting inside.

He bends over the page, as if studying. Then he closes the notebook, sets it on top of the book, closes his eyes, and starts moving his lips.

At first, I think he’s trying to memorize something from the notebook. I associate this with school.

His lips are half-parted and moving slowly, deliberately. It goes on long enough that I switch my guess from memorizing to praying. Now I’m associating with the book.

After a while, he quits mouthing and opens his eyes. He doesn’t look any less perplexed or anxious than he did before.

After a while, he leans forward and asks the guy across from him how far it is to the airport.

That voice sounds straight out of Texas, or maybe from the southeast part of New Mexico, the place known locally as “Little Texas.”

The guy across the aisle tells the kid not far, it’s at the end of the line. Then he asks the kid if he knows the airport.

“No, sir. I’ve never been to New Mexico before.”

While the man explains how the road will start curving around to the left and bring him to the edge of the terminal, I think about the fact that the only things he’s carrying are the notebook and Bible.

He politely thanks the man.

Before I get off, I see him looking out the window on the opposite side of the bus, eyes wide open, lips moving.

Here’s a bus story I wish I had.

The photo at the top of this story is the album cover for Hank Grant’s CD, Bible And A Bus Ticket Home, taken from the CD Baby website, You can hear the title song here:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

me too!!!
Great descriptions. BBBH

9:15 AM  

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