Juxtaposition

I’m on the Greyhound bus. Bound for nowhere in the middle of the night. The forced air dries out my nose and throat and my face drips with oil. There is nowhere to wash. The bus pulls into the parking lot of the Bates Motel Lost in Time. From a blank wall, a brown man emerges with packages he deposits into the bus’s cold, steel womb. We all stare foolishly out our windows at the darkened scene, hopefully resigned, as the bus begins to pull away. Not there yet.

I see the brown man go back into his office. I catch a glimpse of candy lined shelves as the door closes. Like campground tuck-shops with sandy floors and zero nutrition, a smile is just a paper-wrapped promise away. I watch the brown man’s silhouette move quickly into his living space which sits juxtaposed to his financial centre. Startlingly, abruptly, as the bus pulls onto the highway, I stare directly into his personal living room.

Its a small room lit only with a small, motel-room cast-off, lamp. He’s a shrewd man. He sits down in a ratty easy chair and picks up his iPhone. He picks busily away at it, all the while cast in bas-relief by the soft glow from the MacBook open on the tv tray in front of him. As the bus pulls past the last angle of the window frame, I see a 50″ plasma tv hanging on the wall. The Bollywood movie playing is larger than life. The orange, and olive green and red and yellow and brown and peach and pink saris burst like sun sparks on my eyes.

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