“Breathe next to me. And I will capture a piece of your soul along with mine.” —Marikit dR. Camba
I’m on the #15 bus. It is filled to the steaming brim with people trying to get to their homes on the southeast side of Portland. There are so many people on this bus that people are standing & bodies are aloofly rubbing against each other. All of this is made even more stimulating because it is currently downpouring in monsoon-like fashion & everyone is sopping wet.
I find myself growing excited at the sensual nature of this bus ride — bodies dripping with water, windows fogged, faces & limbs so close to one another that they can feel the heat of the blood coursing through their veins.
I managed to find a seat near the start of the route, but barely. To my left, an older gentleman is playing a word game on his iPad, completely engrossed in bettering his score.
To my right, a young man with a bulging backpack stands in the aisle, his glasses speckled with droplets of water. He isn’t wearing a jacket & is soaking wet. His hair slowly drips onto the palms of my hand. In those droplets, I smell remnants of the product he used in his hair today, which reminds me of being at summer camp when I was 13, & how all the boys, so new in their blossoming manhood, would layer on colognes & aftershaves & hair gels, producing a potent, conflicting fragrance with notes of wild teenaged spirit.
In front of me, a professional-looking man sits & keeps getting text messages on his beeping flip phone that make him smile. And each time he grins, I feel the very little space we have around us in the bus expand slightly with happiness. I notice he has a beautiful jade-green ring on his pinky finger & I admire it.