As I sit on the upper deck of this bus, all I want is one genuine moment of connection. Every day, the same routine. People clamber on to the bus, find a seat and mentally withdraw into their own internal worlds. I look across to the bus that has pulled up alongside this one at the lights. I look and look, wishing for someone to raise their eyes from their phone for a second – for an instant – and allow for one brief moment of genuine human connection.
I see a woman on the next bus over. She’s a human being like me, enduring her commute. My mind wanders and I contemplate how varied and complex her life must be beyond her daily journey. Where is her bus going? What plans does she have for the evening? Who is she going to see? As I think all of this, the bus shudders as it prepares for the green light that will allow us to move on. The window of opportunity for making a connection is closing. But she doesn’t even realise that I’m sitting in the next bus over, open to a fleeting moment of contact, of eyes meeting and the world slowing down for a second in which we can both share a simple human connection by acknowledging the existence of each other. But she doesn’t even look up from her phone.
The guy behind her does. We make eye contact. He’s staring at me. He makes a gentle wave with his hand and smiles. I don’t even know the guy, so I take out my phone and keep my eyes on it until my bus moves on.
Tell you what, there are some creeps out there.