There was a gentleman who drove the bus when I was going to college, back in my old college town. I’ve transferred schools now, and those days are all wrapped up in a precious package of bus rides, Shakespeare, ice cream, and history classes. I don’t know his name, but he always smiled at me when I got on the bus. I think he could sense that I was an awkward freshman totally not used to this freedom of being away in a different town, free to make decisions about what I would and wouldn’t do with my time.
He asked me where I was from, what I was majoring in. Every once in a while I’d see him on campus, on the way to or from his own classes. And he’d always smile at me.
Like I said, I never new his name. I don’t think he knew my name. So I can’t really say that we were friends, or even acquaintances. But for some reason, today I remembered the guy who drove the bus. He always played country music on the radio. I remembered his kindness and how he always smiled at me and told me to have a good day. I wonder where he is now, if he’s doing alright, if he’s happy. Isn’t is strange the way people fade in and out of our lives and it’s just a normal thing? To the point where we don’t even realize it’s happening.
There was a girl in my history class who sat in front of me. She had blonde hair that was always done really well. I saw her on the bus a lot, too. She was just one of those people that you see all the time, but you know nothing about. We never spoke, in fact looking back I think all I ever did was stare at her creepily in my “I’m way too observant because I’m a writer” way. She always wore lipstick, and it looked fabulous on her. From bright pink to red, she could rock some color. I remembered her, too.
There was a boy. Well, I guess he is a boy, as he is still very much out there somewhere. We were really good friends. He and I and four more of us, we were our own little family in a way. I’ve always thought it is incredible how we can connect with each other as humans. How sometimes you can make friends that are so real they can become an extension of your family.
It was like that with this little group. I guess you could say he was kind of the leader of our group, though that’s not really accurate. He was just the one we all looked to. I didn’t realize that he’d done a pretty great job of knocking down all of my usual insecurities and trust barriers until it was already done.
And now it’s over a year later. And though we could, we never talk anymore. It’s been a while since I’ve thought about him, because a long time ago I realized that I was in an awkward position where I needed to get past somebody that I’d never even dated. Which, the deep feeling of this post aside, is actually kind of a funny position to be in. You just kind of sit there with your mental hands in the air thinking, “This is not a thing. So why is it a thing?”
I’m hoping that he doesn’t know or suspect anything about that, though. Not only because it is in the past, but because even if our friendship is over, I want him to remember me as a really good friend he could rely on. Maybe I’ll check in on him and see how he’s doing.
I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I’ve decided to issue a very controversial statement. I’ve often heard it said that all cars are girls. I will very boldly tell you that this is not the case. I am a girl. Therefore, I just find it strange that my car should, too, be a girl. My car is a boy. His name is Dean. He is named after Dean Martin and therefore has nothing to prove to anyone. So, the official statement is this: your car should always be your opposite gender. If you’re even into that sort of thing. And that is all.
Also, Pepsi is better than Coke.