Two or three days a week I ride the bus to work. The stop is a seven minute walk from my house and the ride never lasts more than fifteen minutes – even with steady traffic. Buses have the right of way after all.

Three stops after mine a woman gets on the bus, let’s call her Katie. Katie looks a bit like a librarian – well, most people on my bus do. Most of us work at the University. We wear professional yet durable clothes. Every morning Katie carries a ceramic coffee mug onto the bus. Not a travel mug, not something with a lid, a regular ceramic coffee mug. The impracticalness of that choice astounds me.

Katie has “bus friends”, her term not mine. She seems genuinely excited to see them each morning though, from what I’ve gathered, they don’t know each other beyond that short ride. Katie is getting married soon. A week from today actually. She doesn’t care for her girlfriend’s brother. He can’t throw a bridal shower to save his life, “not a balloon in sight.” Katie wants to open her own store. This university gig is just for now, just until she can get that store idea worked out.

Katie doesn’t know who I am.

If Katie’s voice didn’t carry like it does, if she didn’t talk from the moment she gets on the bus until the moment she leaves, I wouldn’t know these things about her. I’m not sure I should know all of this about her.