The Way Home

I stare out of the bus window on the way home. I watch as raindrops slide down the windows, thinking like a kid I pretend they’re racing. It feels nice to think like a kid again. To think freely. Innocently. Boundaries ceasing to exist, imagination taking over.

I turn my attention to the lights up ahead. The streetlamps like army men standing straight and still in their positions, watching the bus carry on it’s way. Traffic lights speak in Morse code, doing their job in telling us when to move – but still doing more. They perform a little light show for us all, every day. Going through their 3-color routine they blink, flash, and stabilize themselves. A dance necessary for navigation, but not one everyone enjoys.

The bus slows to a stop and I get off along with two other passengers. They immediately depart, but I stick around for a while. I watch them, imaging the different lives they’re walking off to. The man with hands full of grocery bags may be coming home to cook for his lover. Her favorite meal, maybe. Perhaps it’s a special day, an anniversary of some sort – or just a sweet surprise.

The other person who got off, a woman, nods her head along to the music playing softly in her earbuds. It’s quiet, but I can hear classical music buzzing from them. I imagine she plays the violin. Maybe the symphony she’s listening to is one she’ll be performing soon.

Whatever these strangers lives are, I wish them well.

Slowly I turn to walk home to my small apartment with Pepper, my dog, residing within. I wonder if he’s napping along to the rain, it’s always made him sleepy. I duck my head and raise my jacket collar over my neck in attempt to keep the rain from sliding down onto my back. I walk quickly, home is only a couple of blocks away and I miss it.

Occasionally I glance up at the houses I pass. I see room lights on in some while others are completely dark. I wonder if they’re sleeping or took off for the weekend. As to the lit rooms I catch glimpses of the people inside. Some sit at a dinner table eating with their family, others in front of the tv doing the same. In each house the people look content with their lives, and I wonder if I seem satisfied with mine. Then again, looks can be deceiving.

At last, I reach my apartment building. Quickly I shuffle inside and navigate the halls to what I call home. Pepper happily greets me as soon as his thick little body can fit through the still opening door. I kneel down to scratch and coo at him. After a minute I take off my shoes and lay on the couch, turning my attention to the rain outside my living room window. Again I watch the raindrops scurry and race down the glass. I let them entertain me, happy to have stepped out of my own world for a while to think about others. To use my imagination. To think like a kid.



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