photograph from google




the girl with the beret at the bus stop …





I saw her at the bus stop, on a bitterly cold winter morning, her beret tilted to the side.


We exchanged polite smiles and furtive glances, till along came our ride.


We sat across each other and soon we spoke, breaking the ice, with talk of the chills battering our bones, as we shared sandwiches, for each other just a slice.


We spoke of the coldness around us, the frigid souls we encountered, we spoke of life’s pathways and where we hoped we were headed, as we confessed, what we feared most, was the banality of a life we so fiercely dreaded.


Thus began our short morning ritual, a bus ride with a stranger, not knowing anything except our names, our conversations so true they scorched like roaring flames.


We often laughed about the funny stuff we experienced, about the weight we felt we had to carry, the seemingly heavy burdens wracking us, all these chats, drowned out at times, to the soundtrack of the squealing brakes of our bus.


Our talks were blisteringly true, as happens at times with strangers, yet we opened ourselves up to each other, trusting the depths in our eyes, feeling a kinship, that logic defies.


We spoke of earning a wage, paying the bills, discarding the frills, we spent what felt like hours in those short-haul trips, baring our truths honest and deep, feeling for once, the harsh shadows of daily life retreat.


She was to me the girl with the beret, fierce yet gentle, knowing so much and still wanting to know, as was I on those mornings so long ago.


We spoke of lovers lost, of lost loves, of our ache for something tangible, something less gaudy, something more true, a mirage always just out of view.


I showed her my scars, she showed me hers, a lifetime of half-promises built on mounds of dust, we spoke of escape, into each others dreamscapes, even as all around us our world was covered in rust.


There was nothing about us but truth, nothing but a truth distilled, an understanding that someone out there in this cold world understood, far from the slicing of all the threatening grudges, we knew, our sharing was beyond all that, as we often in complete silence sat.


Our conversations churned into the butter of each morning, easing the coming day, and we smiled knowing that one else knew us, no one could ever relate, even as we were innocently oblivious of the often cruel hands of fate.


Her eyes danced with a fire, when sharing her insanity, and she said my eyes raged as well, embracing the craziness of it all, the two of us ever mindful, of the ache that did in each other dwell.


Then came that fateful day when she was there no more, and I felt the icy chills deep in my bare bones, feeling a vacuum I did not know my life could ever fill, a random friendship so tightly bound, that decades would pass till a friendship as profound as that was found.


I often thought of her, at another bus-stop, her beret tilted just slight, waiting for her ride in the morning air, feeling that we somehow remained connected, heart to heart, in a way impossible to articulate, for it was us, just us, with whom we felt we could only ever relate.


I think of her often, my friend on the bus all those years ago, sharing parts of our life, profound and without judgemental fears, through moments of agony, and through the smiles and the tears.


I must confess that to this day, whenever I pass a bus stop, I glance at it even as I know,


I shall not see that girl in the beret,

from so many years and lives ago …




( inspired by “The Boss” Bruce Springsteen’s “Bobby Jean” from the album ‘Born in the USA)


(also inspired by “Raspberry Beret” by Prince)



photograph from google

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