Today I couldn't help noticing just how depressed people look on the bus. Literally the standard bus riding expression is neutrality, boredom or out and out depression! (this obviously excludes those like the only other passenger on my bus today who was asleep).
I think I may have too much personality to ride the bus. Firstly I hobble on far too conspicuously with the crutches and my bright clothes. Secondly I almost always fall. Thirdly I always listen to music and when I do I have to either bob my head or tap my foot. Occasionally a song makes my smile, or droop, or mouth the words. I also very occasionally shimmy my shoulders or my hips (little embarrassing).
Lately I've had to sit up the from of the bus because of my injury but usually I like to sit somewhere where I can observe the other passengers. People watching is fascinating and my be one of my favourite activities.
While I usually watch the fashion show of students in the arts block it is equally intriguing to have a look at the total strangers around you on the bus. The little old lady who can't stop checking through her handbag for some misplaced item. The man in the suit who seems to be willing the bus forward with ever fiber of his being. The little kid who hops on the bus and is so excited for the moment he gets to push the button and the weary father carrying his fireman sam rucksack.
The majority of the people stare straight ahead or out the window. Most are plugged into some form of technology, listening to an ipod, reading a kindle or texting someone. Their faces are weary, sleepy because its early and they wish they were back in bed, fed up because the bus was light and they should have been at their destination ages ago, tired because it has been a long day. Some of the elderly ones look like they're just concentrating on getting there, the younger ones as though they wish they were anywhere else and the middle agers as though their minds are on other things.
The people on the dart tend to be much more animated; often travelling in groups, often rustling a paper or playing a game. Similarly people who walk or even drive. I exposed myself as a non bus regular on valentines day by smiling like a goober at my phone the whole way and even giggling at one or two of the texts a rather sweet boy sent me.
I don't think I'm above the bus face though; I've been told before that there are times when I wear the classic 'bus face' of doom and gloom while cycling to college. I guess we all travel on auto-pilot from time to time and in this zombie mode our natural expression is one of gloominess, disinterest and exhaustion.