This time when I got on the bus, I was one of the last people on. I didn’t get to really pick my seat, which is how I ended up in front of a line of four first year lawyers at a firm. Their conversation reminds me of the people my sister went to high school with. Her private prep school was filled with the sort of people whose money makes them interesting to others, and especially to each other, so they’ve never had to come to terms with the fact that they are entirely stultifying. My seatmate, though, is an improvement.
I sat down and he seemed gruff, rude, slightly put upon – in short, the average New Yorker. But as the bus drove deeper into night, and people started to bed down, a little miracle happened.
Having lived alone again for a little while, and slept alone for even longer than that, I forgot the funny tenderness that happens when other people fall asleep close to you. The tensions that their faces let go of, the abandon with which their muscles twitch and settle, the warmth and peace they radiate, the inadvertent but fundamental desire we all have to protect each other’s slumber. The wheels of Mr. Taylor’s bus are going round and round, drawing us closer and closer to a city whose heart is set to grow two sizes on Tuesday, and I find myself consumed with the understanding that, just for a little while, just while we are all together, we will all be keeping each other safe.