Commuting on the bus every day, you become acquainted with the same faces. Often too acquainted, and the familiarity breeds contempt. There's that woman who yells on her mobile phone for the entire journey. There's that guy who sprinkles dandruff on you when he gets off the bus. There's that woman who yawns all over the back of your neck.
But there are a few rays of sunshine in the familiar faces. My favourite is this one man, who always brings a smile to my face. The Speedster.
Judging by his receding hairline and greyish hair, he would probably be nearing forty, though he looks and dresses like a teenager. He has Downs Syndrome, I think, and walks with a real spring in his step, and darts his head about, smiling at people. His face is pink, and looks like it's been scrubbed with a scourer. I just like him because he always seems so happy and excited about life.
What I like the most about him though, is his need for speed. When he steps off the bus, he hits the ground running, and sprints along the footpath, as fast as he can, his head thrown back, and his stocky little legs pumping away. Not in a stressed, 'oh I am late and have to hurry' way, just for the heck of it, just for the joy of running.
He stops when he reaches the traffic lights, to cross the road, and he glances around to see if any one's watching. His expression says 'Oh man, did you see me just now?! I was tearing it up! I think I may have broken the sound barrier! I am awesome!'
And he is.