On the Bus – Verse 1

Barbara Burke, a sturdy blond, two years older than Lo and by far the camp’s best swimmer, had a very special canoe which she shared with Lo “because I was the only other girl who could make Willow Island” (some swimming test, I imagine).  Through July, every morning…Barbara and Lo would be helped to carry the boat to Onyx or Eryx (two small lakes in the wood) by Charlie Holmes, the camp mistress’ son, aged thirteen – and the only human male for a couple of miles around (excepting an old meek stone-deaf handyman, and a farmer in an old Ford who sometimes sold the campers eggs as farmers will); every morning…the three children would take a short cut through the beautiful…innocent forest brimming with all the emblems of youth, dew, and birdsongs, and at one point, among the luxuriant undergrowth, Lo would be left as sentinel, while Barbara and the boy compulated behind a bush.


Over the spring break during my junior year of high school, I flew out to Northfield, MN to visit my brother at college.  I had a great visit, but treated my body and mind hard.

I was only there for a few days.  When my time in Northfield was up, I took a bus from the town into Minneapolis for my flight home.  It was a Sunday morning, early but the bus was still crowded.  I sat on the right side of the bus, about half back.  I took the aisle seat thinking I might get a little more leg room.

One row in front of me of the left side of the bus was another boy about my age.  He also sat in the aisle.  He had large feet and a book in his lap.  There was a middle aged woman sitting on his left side.  One of his large feet was stretched out down the aisle, the left curled up with his knee pressed against the seat in front of him.

I watched him more by chance than anything from time to time as the bus went along.  After about 40 minutes into our ride, it came to me that he might not be reading the book at all, or maybe just half-heartedly.  His legs fidgeted around a bit, and sometimes the book was jostled just a little. With a somewhat glassed look to both his eyes and mine, I finally knew he was masturbating on the ride.  I think I even noticed when came.  I wonder if the lady next to him noticed?  She seemed glued to her book.



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