I stood waiting for the next bus. There is little to do there, but to wait. I'm on my way to visit my last friend. A #92 bus will come along eventually. I look at a distant billboard that once had proclaimed a cheap internet service; it now proclaims something else. I look at a pile of dirt behind me, a fence, and a deep hole surrounded by steel piling, water in its bottom and cans and bottles float down there in the slime. I look far down the street, past under the arch bridge where the bus will pass through. No bus.

I wait, pace back and forth then stop and wait. I'm not impatient. Life for me now is just to wait for the bus. Even when it comes, there is little to do but wait for something else, none of which is the one thing I need: a nice woman to love every night. And the world weirdly prevents me from having a sexy loving woman these days, as if my own incompetance were not enough to prevent it.

I notice a young couple with two young children striding down the sidewalk in this direction. They all are smiling, yet they ... march. I look away, not to worry them. People often act as if I scare them somehow, so it is best to not notice them obviously. Then I glance again as they are almost here, do I need to step further back. They are all smiling confidently at something I can't see, still marching ahead, in my direction. Plenty of room on the sidewalk. I resume looking at the street, so as not to bother them.

They abruptly stop their march, right in front of where I stand; the man suddenly grabs up one of the young boys and violently tickles him and the boy screams with both happiness and discomfort, on and on. A bit surprised, I look at the cute young woman, she is closest to me, she still has the same smile on her face, staring straight ahead past me at nothing, standing still there not yet quite in front of me. The man then puts the boy down, who then stops screaming. The four resume their march ahead on past me, silently; all still have the same confident smile on their faces, no more, no less.

I wait for the bus. It will come eventually. And I briefly think: that was a bit odd. And I notice something else now that was not there before: the lively screams of that little boy being tickled by the man right in front of me, that "energy" seems to be still there, but the others are not there. Odd, too. My imagination doing something odd, this energy thing again. I wait for the bus to come, and I think of those almost friendly smiles that did not change ever, and did not quite have something in front to smile at. I've seen that smile a few times before; yes, the identical kind of smile at something I could not see in front of the person, unchanging.

I wait for the bus, standing there, on sidewalk far too long unwashed by rain, painted by many spilled sticky drinks that glued dirt to describe their last path. The smiling family has gone out of sight. I look at the street, and I look at the dirty sidewalk behind the seats there. Ah, I see the bus coming, it stops a long time at a bus stop under the arch bridge, in the direction the ever smiling family had marched.

I begin to wonder: what were they smiling at?


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