vincent van gogh
Last night as I was busing to Zoe’s I saw this man sitting a few seats away from me. He had red curly hair, broken glasses and a lovely little closely-trimmed beard. Looked like an art student, paint in the crooks of his fingernails and scribbling notes down in his sketchbook. He could not have been over 23 years old. We made eye contact several times during the 40 minute bus ride, mostly because I kept eyeing his outfit and glorious face and he’d look up from his sketchbook periodically and notice. All I could think about was how he looked exactly like Vincent Van Gogh in art student form. He was beautiful, strangely vibrant under the pink lights of the grungey bus as it coasted through the streets of MLK and Lombard. At one point I started texting Celeste, rambling on and on about how beautiful this man was and how he looked to much like Van Gogh (and how I’d fallen in love with him in a period of twenty minutes.) I heard him ask if a girl in a group of obnoxious folks in the back was okay after she dropped her phone and screamed. His voice was quiet and a bit passive. About three minutes before I had to get off the bus, Celeste suggested I write him a note and hand it to him as I got off, something we have done several times together on buses before. Scrambling, I rifled through my bag and grabbed my sketchbook, tore out a page and wrote something along the lines of
I’m sorry if this is bizarre but I just have to say that you are one beautiful person and you remind me very much of Vincent Van Gogh. Have a wonderful Saturday.
Stranger on the bus”
I looked over and he had already noticed I was writing something too fast to be just a journal entry. I handed him the page and he took it gently, reading it immediately. I stood up next to my seat and looked towards the front of the bus, away from him. I could hear him tear off the bottom of the page and start to write.
As the bus pulled over several people stumbled off. I turned around to face him and I saw a small note in his hand, the graphite smudged and barely legible. I noticed as we were just staring at each other that his eyes seemed to bore holes right through his head, they were so deep. His glasses were a titch crooked. I’d never seen such a kind and understanding look from someone I’d never talked to.
I turned around and got off the bus. I wonder what his note back to me said.