Monday, January 23, 2006

Scenes From #6

In the last row, three teenagers are talking too loud. Headphones, probably blaring a hip-hop number, peek out of pierced ears: maybe that’s why they talk so loud; then again, maybe they just want to be heard.

In front of them, a little girl sitting on her mothers lap looks across the aisle at a soldier with a gun sitting on his lap. He gives her a tired smile; she buries her face in her mothers shoulder. He turns away to look out the window.

A middle-aged woman with a purse in her lap and pursed lips on her face takes impatient glances at her watch, trying with no obvious success to speed things up.

Watching her watching her watch is an older man with a knowing smile on his face. It seems he too once tried moving things along quicker than necessary. I wonder if the pursed woman will be sitting here a little further down the road, a knowing smile on her face.

The older man with the knowing smile on his face reaches up to push the “stop” button. It appears that he has reached the end of the road. This is his stop. He looks around one last time, still smiling. Maybe he is remembering all the roads he has traveled. He says, “Excuse me”, and walks off into the unknown.

As he ends his journey, two little children begin theirs. Innocent faces, neither wizened by experience nor scarred by failure, press their eager noses against the glass, taking in all the sites like a sponge takes in water. The purity of their presence seems to affect the others and even the teenagers in the back row turn down the volume.

Closer to the front, a woman in a big sweater is nodding off. No one sits near her and the unpleasant odor emanating from her direction seems to be why. Plastic bags of many colors surround her feet as if she were planted there, in a bed of bags. These bags seem to be full, but bags full are usually full with nothing. Then again: how would I know? (Even the narrator cannot judge the subjects of this ride, no matter how objective he claims to be, lest he judge incorrectly. All he can do is observe and tell.)

A studious young man, at least his glasses and balding head portray him as such, is consumed in the pages of his book. Will he ever realize that he must stop reading in order to start writing? Probably. But sometimes it easier to read than it is to write.

An arrogant twenty-something year old scribbles pompously on the back of a sacred text. Will he ever realize that he must stop writing in order to start reading? Probably. But sometime it easier to write than it is to read.

Right in front of me sits the man behind the wheel. Stopping at a red light. Going at a green one. Letting passengers on. Letting passengers off. He clicks a ticket. He counts out some change. He exchanges some words. He is just another person along for the ride, just another indispensable part of the puzzle – albeit with a wheel in his hand and a pedal under his foot. But then don’t we all have a wheel in our hand and a pedal under our foot?

Then of course there I am, a rare-view mirror observing the comings and goings of bus number six. I am just hanging here, relating a tale of life. Oh, but wait, over there, near the rare doors, an interesting group of people have just…

So it goes, on and on – or, on and off. And as the wheels keep on turning, the driver sees me observing, and knowing what I’m thinking, he gives me a wink.

25 Comments:

Anonymous woe is i said...

just wondering, could one "take... glances"?

1/25/2006 1:08 PM  
Blogger jakeyology said...

if one could "take a look", why can't one "take a glance"?!

but remember, "it's always better to give than to recieve" - at least that's what that guy in "The Frisco Kid" said after robbing the train.

i gotta go "take" a...

(sorry)

1/25/2006 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the way you charicaturize the people you observe on the bus. It's comic, like when people resemble their pets or tics (Dickens did the same thing- remember Tremlow in Our Mutual Friend- the guy who appears to be a table until half way thru, when the reader finally realizes that Dickens is actually referring to a human not a piece of furniture?)

for this reason you are not just an observor.your analysis is not passive.throughout your 'flaneur on a bus' you are assessing the people around you. you are completely subjective to your own analysis and sensual descriptions.
which is fine. which makes good writing. but don't write under the pretense of objectivity...
true, its an activity we all engage in all the time, but presumptous assumptions under the 'sanctuary of objectivity' can get you into trouble now and then....

and i disagree-
you can't 'take a glance' you simply 'glance'. the act of 'glancing' is indicative to its 'taking'.
but that's just me and my opinion.

actually your essay reminded me of a poem...

Humanity i love you
because you would rather black the boots of
success than enquire whose soul dangles from his
watch-chain which would be embarrassing for both
parties....

Humanity i love you because
when you're hard up you pawn your
intelligence to buy a drink and when
you're flush pride keeps
you from the pawn shops and
because you are continually committing
nuisances but more
especially in your own house

Humanity i love you because you
are perpetually putting the secret of
life in your pants and forgetting
it's there and sitting down
on it
and because you are
forever making poems in the lap
of death Humanity...

[maybe not your initial intention but you get the drift.]

1/25/2006 6:31 PM  
Anonymous Yossi said...

I hope it is as easy for you to write as it is for us to read.
Keep em coming

1/26/2006 3:12 AM  
Blogger jakeyology said...

i wasn't referring to the "act of glancing"; i was referring to the unnaturalness of the act: "TAKE a glance", kind of like an imposed glance.

i was trying to convey the feeling on the bus, a (rear-view) mirror, and mirrors are objective - i guess i'm not much of a mirror.

reflect on that (wink - or glare).

1/26/2006 12:43 PM  
Anonymous still woed said...

how bout "glancing erratically"

1/26/2006 4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

glare away mate
;)

and i suppose imposed glancing in that context works.

was being nit-picky but with no intention of jumping down your post/throat.

still... nice piece, enjoy the fire.

1/26/2006 4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very nice.. not as much tochen as usual.

1/28/2006 2:39 PM  
Anonymous sherlock said...

lets see my ananomi reading skills:

the two "woe"s is berky (is not are)

anonymous 1 and 2 is namastaei. though she threw me off with her mispelling of caricaturize (an added h besides the fact that you can't add an "ize" to any noun to make it a verb), she is usually quite a good speller.

1/29/2006 4:06 AM  
Blogger jakeyology said...

i wonder who sherlock is...

and you should be watson - watson is to sherlock what ahron is to moshe. (l'havdil elef havdolos)

1/29/2006 10:50 AM  
Blogger The Bearded One said...

not bad not bad. at least on half. though what makes you think you could add an "er" to any verb to make it a noun, dork.

1/29/2006 11:29 AM  
Anonymous namastaei said...

Ha. Elementary I would suppose.
i'm impressed. [always had a thing for Sherlock too]. Guess anonymity is simply a self-made illusion. Ironically my dear, the term 'ananomi' does not technically exist, though i guess in some cyber-tech-pop-cultural way it does.
weird, but good job nonetheless.

1/29/2006 11:58 AM  
Blogger jakeyology said...

but who's sherlock?

1/29/2006 1:37 PM  
Anonymous sherlock said...

be at that milchik restaraunt downstairs at 12:01 pm on friday the 5th of shvat and you will find out then

1/29/2006 2:48 PM  
Blogger the sabra said...

"Innocent faces, neither wizened by experience nor scarred by failure"

I keep reading that line over and over again, marveling at the originality (is it?) and brilliance (it is!) of it.

1/30/2006 8:50 AM  
Blogger jakeyology said...

the sabra, though prickly on the outside, is really good for my starving ego! (facial expression)

1/30/2006 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Proper Noun said...

thank you for some acting on your facial expression part. thats like saying a story as follow: a certain noun commited a ver on an adjective noun.

1/30/2006 1:25 PM  
Anonymous who am i to talk said...

whoa pn take a chill.

whats with all this grammar talk why can't we all be friends and see the light instead of focusing on the bulb. dude.

1/30/2006 3:27 PM  
Anonymous nama said...

wow.

now everything really is illuminated.

1/30/2006 4:49 PM  
Blogger the sabra said...

hey jakey (barf), what'd i ever do to deserve those facial expressions!?

1/30/2006 7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long time no comment here.

Just sit on the sabra.

Instead of the '6' try the 160 for a change of pace.

1/30/2006 11:30 PM  
Blogger the sabra said...

the 160-now that's nachas

and no, do not sit on the sabra

1/31/2006 5:40 AM  
Anonymous Proper Noun said...

shove this bulb, "who am i to talk"

"and the unpleasant odor emanating from her direction seems to be why"

should be "seems to be the reason why"

1/31/2006 6:27 AM  
Blogger jakeyology said...

ok, ok...

to sabra: the facial expression was ;) - i was trying to thank you for complimenting me. Bad communication. And sitting on a sabra would be a pain in the ass - literally. :(

to the proper noun (or is it the "improper nun"? {facial expression}): i wrote it without "reason" so it would have a double meaning (tartay mashma): "and the unpleasant odor emanating from her direction seems to be [saying], why?" - as in why me, why life, why everything.

and i do not know if i could do justice to the 160 (though i may be on the 164 - that would make intresting "mirror" material.

1/31/2006 1:29 PM  
Blogger Saad said...

I really liked this post. Thanks for bringing Jerusalem to our screens.

Check out Endless Light and Cobblestone: Myth 1: Lubavitchers wear black hats.

Saad

2/01/2006 3:59 AM  

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