The Immigrant

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“Excuse Me Sir” … “Sir”… “May I please see your ticket?”

I reach for my ticket and present it to our bus inspector. Strangely I suddenly become struck by fear … “what if I get thrown off the bus?”, “what will happen?”, “what will I do?”. Before I begin to accumulate more thoughts, the inspector gently hands back my ticket, “Thank you, Mr. Rodriguez”.

There I am, travelling amongst the daily traffic on the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Bumper to bumper traffic. Fumes pollute every particle of air surrounding this endless parkway. The sounds of roaring engines, furious passengers and overpowering profanity all fill the air. The sky can not be seen, just simply a dark haze. Slowly, slowly we creep inches hoping to eventually reach out destination Washington DC.

The bus inspector now takes her seat towards the front of the bus, talking to our driver. Suddenly, the bus jerks and the engine stops. Cars all around us seem to be doing the same. “9:30, I am going to be late, really late”. Leaning against the window, all I have is precious time to waste. It seems that many of the people of this 307 route have had the same idea. Many of them are regulars on the route; however we have never exchanged words. Everyone seems to mind their own business and just get on with the normal stream of life. Interaction seems too come second to work, as many of the passengers immediately reach for their cell phones and laptops, all attempting to pre-occupy themselves and escape from this monotonous reality. Cupping my hands and rubbing them on my cheeks, I can feel each individual bristle of hair, sharp and rough… and silently tickling my sliding palm. My mind begins to daze, staring at the people in the near by cars, time seems to s- t- o- p…., as though we are travelling through a v-o-r-t-e-x … I seem to be moving but it seems nothing around me is… however, oddly an elderly women towards the front looks at me, as I am brought back to reality.

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This elderly lady is from Caucasian decent. She looks to be around the age of 70, as her skin is wrinkled and her hair is as white as snow. She looks so pure, so harmless, so ….  wholesome … she looks directly at me greeting me with a heart warming smile. Smiling back … our interaction dies …. She turns around facing the front of the bus … that’s strange.... She smiled at me …. Hmmm I mustn’t be that scary after all….  Suddenly the bus starts again and we turn right onto a packed Southwest Freeway. “10:45, I ...

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