He stepped onto the bus with a stilted swagger–not the kind that’s truly felt but the kind that wants to be felt, the kind of swagger that says, “Check me out, I’m something” (which ironically is the opposite of real swagger). He was short and thin but tried to look larger by wearing an oversized shirt and low-hanging shorts. The youth was clearly ready to face the day. His bag and his bus fare were ready when we stopped, and he entered with a skip in his step.
None of this, however, would have been unique–many men, myself include, have strut our thinly-disguised sense of insecurity with such lying body language and dress (for guys with my build, it’s wearing a shirt one size too small to make your muscles look bulging). No, the main feature of this rider were his specialized. Mainly because they weren’t really.
He wore a pair of novelty glasses with large, opaque faux-holographic dollar signs for the lenses, like one might see someone wear in a music video or to some party as a joke. How he saw beyond them I can only guess, by looking either above or below the s-shaped slope, I suppose. But that didn’t matter, for he didn’t want to see past them anyway.
I learned this when the bus driver asked him about them, “Got the dollar shades on today, huh?”
“That’s right,” the rider said. “gotta keep my eyes on my money and not on those fools.”
“I know that’s right.”
The man in the eyewear continued past me and made his way further back on the bus, and while his back was turned the driver rose and shook his head about the recent encounter (all the while wearing a smirk on his face). I heard the man in the shades speak loudly about something, but I didn’t look back or try to decipher it.
I just thought about the great irony I’d witnessed, and how immensely human it was. Yep, keep your eye on your money at the cost of seeing everything else, especially “those fools” whoever they may be. And frankly, it’s not the man himself for whom I felt saddened but for all of us who looked at him with contempt, all the while being a living example of his unintended statement, so focused on our jobs and careers at the expense of our lives happening away from our offices, or our checking Facebook and Twitter for comments and feedback even while real human beings are sitting on the bus beside us. After a few moments of reflection, I almost felt more embarrassed for myself than the man. Funny how that works.
I kinda love when real-life events play out like a short story. Makes the commute interesting and gives something about which to write before the weekend, but more than that it reminds that Lord is always telling stories, some less subtle than others but all steeped in truth. He’s creative like that.
Thanks for reading and have a good one,