Everyday Hustle

The bus pulls up to the stop and everyone clambers on. Most of the blue seats are filled with a mixture of young kids going to the elementary school by the bridge, teenagers possibly skipping class and adults on their way to work and other responsibilities. The light turns red and the driver leaves the door open for any stragglers. A small boy with curly black hair, no older than seven drives a red toy convertible up and down his legs while the older man with a thick gray beard next to him taps his foot in frustration. The light turns green but the doors stay open. Two minutes that feel like ten pass and the bus still hasn’t moved. The bearded man begins to mutter under his breath. A young woman with a bright red mohawk sitting on the other side of the boy taps her fingers on the pole. One more minute trickles by and a teenage boy with a canary yellow bomber jacket yells “what’s the goddamn holdup?” The doors start to close like a four person crew of three inch high people are pulling levers and pulleys to bring them together. The bus slowly eases away from the curb as the light turns yellow and the bearded man sighs in relief. The small boy keeps making vroom vroom sounds. The hustle continues.


©Esther Valencia


Sultry Glimpse

The sunlight glints off the just washed cherry red Honda Civic next door. The glare from the specialty rims in chrome blind the eye and if you look closely enough there are tendrils of steam from the water evaporating. The sidewalk is damp and the air is heavy with moisture that oozes into the recesses of your lungs. The sweet smell of a spring air freshener coupled with the sour tang of garbage juice gives this part of the sidewalk a specific aroma that signals home in a way that nothing else can. The kids next door are running around in cutoff jean shorts and thin white tanks with faded Animaniacs characters. They have old water bottles that they’re spraying each other with. Their gleeful shouts float above the deep bass line of the current rap song that is blasting from the electric neon orange portable speaker. A few brown sparrows bathe in a pool of water in a lip on the curb just down from the Civic, splashing and shaking their feathers and chirping. A soft breeze moves through and leaves behind a hint of raindrops.

©Esther Moreira