I saw her get out of the passenger side of the car and lean back in toward the driver. I don’t know if she kissed him or just said something. I found myself feeling jealous though. I don’t know who the girl was or what her relationship was with this person behind the wheel. She closed the car door behind her and headed toward the train station as the car took off. All I knew was I wanted someone I loved to always lean back in to say good-bye to me whenever I dropped her off anywhere.
I then started looking at all the vehicles passing me as I waited for the bus; the couples inside the cars starting their days together. I wondered what kind of conversations they were having, what arguments they might be finishing or what silences might be brewing. I wondered how many of them had a little morning sex or got upset with each other about how they acted at dinner with their parents on Sunday. I wondered who was exhausted because they were the person that stayed up with little Sally after she vomited pasta and hot dogs in her bed at three o’clock.
The cars kept going by and I started wondering about the single people in the cars. I thought about each crazy individual life taking place in each car. Every single person has their own life and perspective and I found it suddenly chilling. Those individual people, millions of people, just going about their everyday as part of the animal content of the spinning Earth. It made me feel a little queasy to know that so many people were out there just doing their thing. So many cars just moving along the road propelled by some person’s need to get to work or take little Johnny to school or just grab a cup of coffee before heading back home to walk the dog. I felt insignificant.
I had to sort of pull myself back into a more singular perspective before allowing my mind to go crazy with all the innumerable possibilities of all the people swirling and jogging and rushing around me. There are just so many people. A part of me loves them and another part of me hates them. I love them because I’m so proud to be part of the human race and share in the collective marvels of our evolution. I hate them because a lot of them are dicks. I know quite a few dicks, girls and guys. (Well, one girl in particular).
As the bus arrived and I fell in with the cattle call of the other people waiting for that ride I took a look out the window and at the rest of the morning people. I felt alone in the crowd, but somehow, happy not to be a part of it. It’s like some queer plausible deniability thing, like, “Yeah, I was there as part of the history of humanity, but I didn’t see anything”.
The bus moved along until it was forced to make a very hard stop because of a car cutting its way in front from off the expressway. A horn or two blared in the streets as people took foolish risks with their lives and the lives of others. I thought about these lives and I judged them. I judged them because I felt they needed judging, they need to be categorized and labeled so future generations will know what assholes people can be. I suddenly didn’t care about the complexities of some other person’s life. I only cared about mine and the various indignities and hurts I’ve suffered at the hands of others.
All in all, I made it to work and now I sit, listening to the voices of the lives going on around me. It’s hard enough to manage one’s own life without worrying about the lives of others. It’s worry that gets me. It’s ultimately some form of personal fear. It keeps me closed and I stay protected behind my judgments. I can understand that madness. I can understand life’s loneliness amid the car driving, bus riding, and train taking hordes.
I can only hope she leans into the passenger side of the car as I drop her off and tells me with her eyes that she understands how crazy I can be and she loves every second of it. I’ll always wink back.