Next Stop: Fountain & LaSalle Square

by Victor S. Smith

The trolley was mostly empty; there were only four people on board, not including the driver. The woman to my left, the one with the sharp angular jaw and too-much eye shadow, looked like she was going to be moving out of her house soon, not of her own free will. The man who was sitting directly in front of her, whom she kept staring through – not at, but through, as if he was transparent – was lost in the mix that somebody had made him, be-bopping while we careened through the stops, his head bouncing back and forth. The man in back of me was looking out the window, and given his age, possibly remembering the buildings of his youth – that is where I got my first beer, that is where I saw my first naked tit, that is where I saw my first dead body. The city streets were getting darker, the day was rolling to an end and we four sat on the bus waiting for our stops, waiting for our turn to get off the bus and continue our lives. For the moment though we are all sitting on the cold wooden bench seating waiting for the stop at Fountain and LaSalle Square.

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Victor S. Smith, author of How Charlie Chaplin Saved a Marriage, is a recovering economist who caught a writing bug penicillin isn't clearing up. His two blogs are Like Pollution and Marlowe's Sketch Pad.