Amid a long procession of cars, the Finch bus lurches westbound in increments. The whole structure creaks under the weight of awkwardly positioned bodies, which seem vertically heaped in the limited space. Aside from the drone of the engine, the rush-hour bus is eerily quiet. There is exhaustion in the atmosphere.
An elderly woman clings to a poorly-conceived rubber loop, which winds around her wrist and twists her wrinkles into layers. She stares irately at a student slumped in the seat below her. His ears are pierced with silver rings and plugged with headphones; his bloodshot eyes trace the large flowers on her dress.
Through the cracks in the crowd, a timid-looking man also sees the flowers, but only in glimpses. He watches them jolt as the woman struggles to keep her balance. He seems hesitant to offer his seat . . . perhaps reluctant to rupture the silence.
Beside him, a frizzy-haired woman sleeps with one hand on her over-sized baby carriage. The carriage, which holds nothing but groceries, bounces back and forth between various body parts, including the knees of a petite young woman who struggles to balance a large textbook on her lap. Her head jerks forward, almost independently, as if reacting to motion sickness.
Leaning in above her, a man coughs. He draws back a long, exaggerated snuffle and uses his fingers to wipe his inflamed nostrils. This seems to alarm a bony man reading a newspaper, who angles the pages to shield himself.
A headline reads: TTC Hikes Metropass Fare.
This descriptive piece was written for my literary non-fiction class on Sept. 13th, 2007