Last night in class we did a short story set on a city bus. It was a pretty good story, but I was surprised that so many of the students questioned why, or whether, the two protagonists would be on a bus. "Wouldn't they have wheels?" one person said. Another: "Maybe if you show they're still students or something..."
I ride the bus. Since I have not yet bought a car in Seattle, and am apprehensive about driving on these steep hills, I take the bus when I am alone and want to go somewhere I can't walk to. I see all sorts of people on the bus. Poor people and crazy people and young people, yes, but also older, well-dressed people who for whatever reason are not driving cars. And the bus, it turns out, is endlessly entertaining.
I have talked to little kids on a field trip, bouncing up and down with excitement. I have heard a murder being discussed between two women: "And they didn't know the body was in the apartment until Saturday, when the rest of us in the building started to smell it." I have observed people reading everything from Leo Tolstoy to Danielle Steele. Last night, returning from class, we had a crazy person, harmless variety. He was explaining to a stranger, who looked slightly stunned, "I am Kali. All reality is under my command because I am the only one who exists out of time. It's very hard."
I imagine it would be. All of reality! A microcosm of which can be found on the bus.