Commuting- Vignette 1

There is a man that I see from time to time on the Chicago’s south side #8 westbound bus.

The first time I saw him he stepped on and came straight to the back. A handsome older man, with dark skin and a well shaped salt and pepper afro. He wore an ivory turtleneck shirt, tan slacks, a white denim jacket with black loafers and socks. I thought about sweating just looking at him. His brow however was dry and his eyes were bright. I imagine that he has seen lot- babies being born, bare faced women in bright colored dresses, men who fight until they bleed. I also imagine that he is slow to react. He had a stance of someone who knew their purpose and he had my full attention.

He sat across from me-took a large 3 ringed binder and pen from a reusable Whole Foods bag licked the tip of the pin, opened the book and without looking down begin to write with a ferocity. I am hesitant to refer to his writings as scribbles but I didn’t recognize any of it. Every time he turned the page he’d mark the upper left hand margin with a swirl. After about 7 pages or so he looked down, and seeming pleased, pulled on the bus’s stop request cord and got off. I’ve seen him twice since. Each time he seems to get and off at different spots, wears the same outfit and writes like his life depends on it. We made eye contact that last time I saw him. I almost spoke but his calm blank stare made me think I wasn’t ready.

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Originally published at postracialmyblackass.wordpress.com on July 12, 2015.

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