When I Almost Fainted On the Bus (But Not Really)

March 4, 2013

I stepped up the narrow three steps onto the bus and stopped abruptly, for there was nowhere more to go. The person in front of me with a large suitcase in hand was behind a person in front of her who was behind another person in front of her, and nigh unto every seat was full. Face after Chinese face looked passively at me.

I turned to my left. The front row had one seat occupied by a person and one seat occupied by a massive, oversized, pink, plastic, Chinese-style suitcase.

In that blurry moment, I suddenly knew they weren’t accepting suitcases in the storage area under the bus, and I looked up from that realization to see suitcases blooming like unwelcome flowers in front of me, in every seat, on the racks above the seats, enveloping the woman standing in front of me.

I felt the familiar feeling of claustrophobia closing in on me, and I bid deep breaths come to me, but they refused.

“I must get to NY on this bus,” some inner voice was telling me, “there is no way for me to get off this bus.”

And I was light-headed, still unmoving from my post at the top of the steps, knowing I was so close to the exit and yet I would not use it, but instead would endure hours standing up on this awful air-less crowded bus.

I again tried to draw deep breaths, closed my eyes, and awoke with a start.

I drew a real, deep breath. I’m not in China anymore.

What I had read before sleeping: “Fung Wah Bus Between New York City and Boston Shut Down By Feds”


2 Responses to “When I Almost Fainted On the Bus (But Not Really)”

  1. JKM said

    Beautiful writing.

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