I sat around in the bus station for a while but the people depressed me so I took my suitcase and went out in the rain and began walking.
—-Charles Bukowski, Factotum
Ride a city bus at night. Late at night. Look around. Really look around. Don’t read your book, don’t check your phone, don’t turn away.
Look at the people. Open your pores and let the pure atmosphere of despair and regret inside where it will knead your soul. Feel the exhaustion of going home from the night shift. Touch the grease spot on the window where people that can’t even find the energy to keep their heads upright fall. Breath in the ghosts of ancient alcohol and unwashed perspiration. Listen to the giggling and proud talk of the night denizens on their blowzy way home from a night of exhausted carousing. Feel their desperate intoxicated love.
Let yourself enter the mysterious world.
Later, maybe a week later, or a month, or years later, late at night – when you are at home on your prescription mattress and breathing that conditioned – carefully purified and modified – air wafting from ductwork overhead. When you have set your book down on the nightstand after a particularly satisfying chapter. When the glowing red digits indicate you have a good, restful, eight hours before you start mashing the snooze button. When the large, high definition, flat-screen television that you carefully positioned so that you can see it from your bed is showing the double-plays, strikeouts, and home runs from all over the country. When you begin to nod off and feel the dreams welling up….
the people on the late night buses are still there. You are home and so are they. They are still there. They are always there.