Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Was he real?

I wanted to go to this bird sanctuary that was completely off the beaten path. I had to change buses in a town called Chegalput to get there. When I arrived in Chegalput I knew was the only white person who had been there in awhile. Kids ducked behind their mothers and cried, people stared at me, and a few, obviously alerted, came out of their shop to have a look. A young woman who could speak some English came up to me and asked all the normal questions: " Where are you from? How old are you? What is your name? What is your job?" Then she laughed and said that I was a source of entertainment for her and her friends because they did not get to see white people in town. As we talked, I noticed a young boy about ten years old standing behind her, listening and staring. I smiled at him, he looked away. The woman asked where I was going and told me that her bus was coming after mine and that she would be sure to get me on the right bus. Her friends gathered around during the wait, we shared snacks and a few laughs. (I told her that her friend looked like my sister and they all assumed I had a black sister and thought that was very funny.) As it would happen her bus came before mine and she handed me off to one of her friends. I moved over to where her friend's shoe stand was and as I stood there waiting I noticed the boy had followed me. I smiled, he looked away. When my bus rattled into the station (and I mean rattled) the appointed woman directed me excitedly and waved goodbye. I got on the bus. So did the boy. He sat directly behind me. I smiled, he looked away. I offered him biscuits, he declined. I turned around and minded my own business. As I sat there waiting for the bus to fill, the fifteen people on the bus got into an argument, got up, and filed off. I sat there. The boy got up and said to me " not bus". So I got off. I headed to the ticket office. I had to pee and I needed to find out where the toilet was. As I was trying to ask the ticket guy about the toilet I felt a tap on my shoulder. When I looked around the boy was pointing. So I followed his direction and sure enough there was the toilet, or what you might call a toilet. When I came out the boy was there. I smiled. He stared. I trotted around to the back of the terminal trying to make sure I did not miss which ever bus was now my bus. I looked around nervously. I walked from bus to bus. As I walked the boy came up to me, pointed and said "bus". I smiled a big smile and thanked him. He stared; no response. I got on the bus and sat behind a woman who had a baby around 18 months old hanging over her shoulder. I settled in, looked around, and OUTSIDE the bus; was the boy. I wondered why he was on the last bus and off this one. I worried if maybe it was a trick, a school boy prank to put me on the wrong bus. The baby in front of me suddenly became very agitated and in an effort to save myself I grabbed a piece of paper, made a paper airplane, and flew it out the window. I thought the baby would watch the plane fly, but he didn't. The boy did. The entire distance the plane flew and as it landed. My attention was drawn to the baby again as it cried, so I looked for another piece of paper, this one I crumpled up and handed to him. He seemed interested enough. He grabbed it and pushed it back to me. I pushed it back to him. He pushed it back to me. He was happy. His mother was happy. I was esstatic. I glanced outside the bus; the boy was still there. Soon enough the paper ball fell to the floor and I was down among the legs and packages trying to retrieve my life saver. The bus started; people were hurriedly crowding on and I was getting smashed. I reached and stretched and finally got the paper; I had to. When I sat up, I handed the paper ball to the baby. As the bus began to pull out I looked out the window for the boy. The boy was gone. And so was the paper airplane.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

blessed be the children, who will light our way.......may you find wayfarers such as this little one on your journey.......

cindylist said...

And so you ended up on the right bus...???
Angels in disguise!

Anonymous said...

Hi womyn,
I love your writing...
you take me away, every time.
You have a gift.
Thinking of you,
Judy

Anonymous said...

Hi Tracy,
I read your blog to Katie & she said what I have been telling you all along. You need to write a book!!! Even if you compiled your blog entrys it would be great!! Really enjoy hearing about your adventures!
Love, Mom