Sunday, August 22, 2004

Photo --- Sunday (III)

I left the bar and hoped on a bus. It's late and I'm tired. The bus is totally empty. I feel like I have a private limo driving me home. After a couple of stops, one guy gets in. He has a large backpack and in his way of dealing with the bus driver he is clearly a tourist. He looks Japanese and is wearing an MIT T-shirt. The third person to board is a homeless guy. He is wearing a long blue T-shirt that goes down to his knees. He is putting some money in the machine but the driver seems unhappy with him. It becomes clear that he does not have enough money. He goes up to the guy and asks. The young fellow's head gets back a bit and he makes a no sign without saying a word. I am next on the list and gets my wallet out, hand the guy twenty five cents and see him going back to the driver and paying. He passes me on the way to the back of the bus. The stench is horrendous. The tourist smiles at me "You're very nice" . I smile back "Thank you". We keep going. The bus is filling up. At one of the stop, the young tourist asks around "Have we passed already 18th and Columbia?". I raise my head. "Not yet. I'll let you know when we do". He is obviously nervous to miss his stop, grabs his pack and comes sit next to me. "Thank you. It's my first time in Washington." "Where are you from?" I asks. For once, I'm the one from here. "New Zealand". I can hear the accent now. The opening of the vowels, the slowing down of the speech. We talk as the bus keeps going. "One more stop" I tell him, "you're getting off at the next stop". As he thanking me, he gets a camera out of his pocket and holding it at arms length, points it toward us. Him and me seating next to each other on a city bus. There a red light flashing, a small flash and the photo is taken. He is showing me the result. I'm there, a puzzled face to the camera. "Thank you again. You've been so nice, I wanted a picture of you". He raises up and leaves. I'm still a bit stunned by the scene. I smile thinking of his collection of pictures. I am now in the photo album of a New Zealander that I helped on the streets of the city.


Post a Comment

<< Home