He truly glided onto the bus. I have heard that expression before to describe the movements of a person, but always thought it was hyperbole. It takes a huge amount of grace to still appear natty when dropping pence into the change collector of a public bus. He snapped away his receipt with a sharp but eloquent motion. He sat across the bus and greeted me as if we knew each other.
Through out the conversation, my admiration for this man grew. The greatest of war heroes never describe themselves as brave. They just acted according to their nature. I think it was the same for him; either that or he was a glutton for grief. I couldn’t imagine the difficulty he faced having lived most of his life in another country whose native tongue was not his own, the skin colour of the locals didn’t match his, nor was the orientation of his sexuality viewed positively.
He had lived in Edinburgh for thirty years. “I wouldn’t live anywhere else.” he said. I doubt that Scotland thirty years ago was very progressive when it came to the acceptance of a black Brazilian homosexual. If that wasn’t enough to discriminate against, he also had a stutter. His fluid motions juxtaposed starkly to his staccato speech. He still garnered sideways glances from other passengers. “Darling, I have seen it all. These fools are nothing.” He said with a smile when noticing my glares that attempted to answer theirs.
We indeed talked like we knew each other. There were no uncomfortable silences as one or the other groped for the next topic. Our conversation ended abruptly when we arrived at his stop, but I am sure I’ll meet that man, one of the blessed, again.