I, along a handful of people, was waiting at the bus stop the other day when this guy showed up to wait for his bus like the rest of us. He came up to me and asked me if the stop was for bus number something or other (I don’t remember the exact number). The way that he asked me, struck me as unusual. The way that he reacted to my response was equally as unusual. I don’t think that I have ever before met someone like him.
This dude was completely at ease approaching me with a question, completely at ease with my answer, and completely at ease with the space after our exchange was over.
This dude seemed to carry no anxiety, fear or embarrassment asking a perfect stranger a question. No apologetic manner letting me know that he was so sorry for disturbing my waiting. He was equally non-intrusive and didn’t seem to want to engage in any further conversation—not in a way that I felt rejected or, well, anything else. I still felt his presence, he didn’t quickly move to the other side of the bus stop. It was just that the talking was over.
As the wait for the bus was rather long, I continued to observe the guy. He waited. With ease. His face was relaxed. No fidgety movements. No looking to make eye contact with other waiters searching for acknowledgment and empathy then following up with sharing complaints about the shitty bus system. And unlike me, he wasn’t looking at the time every 30 seconds. He was totally there. At the bus stop. Living that experience. Maybe he had somewhere to be at a certain time. But I didn’t get any sense of obligation or hurry. At the same time, he definitely didn’t give of the impression of just some guy who doesn’t give a shit about time or having to be anywhere. He was totally there at that time and place. In the moment.
What was his deal? What was he doing? How could he be like that?
Mr. Bus-Waiting-Man was somehow in that rare and perfect place of being connected and comfortable with himself AND connected and comfortable with happenings of life.
I imagine that this must be a very pleasant way to be. I admire this man. I wonder what it would feel like to be like him. Maybe I’ll test it out.
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