The goal of the 26 is to capture the mundane and to make sacred of it. As the slogan goes, “Regular passengers, on an ordinary bus, in an average city, on a typical day.” This blog is comprised of passages about passengers on the number 26 bus line. The bus itself doesn’t exist- Yes, I’m sure a No. 26 bus might run somewhere, but that’s irrelevant. No, these stories are about a fictional bus in a very tangible world. The bus and the passengers that ride it exist nowhere, and yet, in a genuine sense, they live everywhere. They are us, and we are them, in so far as our own humanness connects us. This is the point of the blog, to capture what it means to be human.
We all have a story, and who we are is created by those stories. It’s hard to say whether we have and carry stories, or if we literally are the stories that make us, us.
Have you ever ridden a bus? Or a plane? Or perhaps you sat in a coffee shop, or maybe you drank a beer at a bar? Have you ever been surrounded by strangers? People you’ve never met, and never would. Have you ever wondered who those people were? What were their names? Maybe you’ve given them names in your own mind. Or perhaps you’ve even given them stories. How many nameless faces have you passed on the street? How many people have you politely nodded to on a sidewalk, without ever discovering who they really are?
How many times have you thought, “I wonder who that could be?” How many times do you think someone wondered about you? How many stories have you written for others? How many stories have you discovered? How many have you made? And more importantly, how have those stories made you, you?
I find, when I walk against the human traffic of a sidewalk, I’m perpetually getting robbed, by nameless faces passing in the opposite direction. I feel deprived of the opportunity to discover who these people are. I’m missing a chance to connect with another human being.
When I walk on the street or exit a bus, or when my plane lands, I always feel this way. It feels like I’m getting torn apart by the lives of my other potential selves that could have been. Who are these people I’m just passing by, these nameless people whose names I’ve never learned? But, if our paths were slightly different, they could have crossed, and we could have met. Could they have been a friend? A lover? A teacher? A student? What could I have learned from them, or what could I have taught? As I step away from the bus, I realize I will never know. It leaves me with a melancholy feeling.
So, this blog is about peoples stories. Specifically, it’s about capturing a fleeting moment of someones’ life as they briefly ride the number 26 bus line. A fictional bus that is set in no particular place, but could also technically exist anywhere.
As well, the passengers are also fictional, and yet, as I hope you find, are so amazingly real.
Where are the passengers coming from? Where are they going? Why are they going there? What are they thinking? What are their dreams? What are their hopes, fears, or desires?
All of these things we try to explore, and in the end, when we journey inside the mind of another being, we find not that it is mysterious, dark, or scary, but instead, we find it surprisingly relatable. We find ourselves.