She is but a blind mute, and I a ghost

The thrum of the diesel engines mixes with the hiss of hydraulics as the rolling carapace allows passengers into its warmth. She steps in on the third stop since my own boarding.

She doesn’t return the smile from the operator as she pays her dues not out of rudeness but because her flickering eyes have already passed over, turned to decide which of the available slots would be best for her slender movements and obese baggage.

A perch near my own is her temporary sanctuary: close enough to reach out and catch anything that may fall from the pockets of her sweater.

It is a respectful distance, I remind myself. The distance of a gentleman.

She produces a paperback novel. I need not see more than the brilliant colors of the cover to guess that it is a fantasy fiction, she is reading something obviously not from the Times Bestseller list- and the energy of that discovery provides an arrhythmia that deadens by a simple obseration:

She is listening to her iPod. She in another world- one without me.

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