Where can you do the most interesting people watching in Asheville? So many vignettes pass by in so many faces. Old drunks sitting on a bench swapping stories they have told for years; utter despair on the faces of the newly homeless who have no idea where to go; lovers oblivious to the hustle and bustle around them; hot, frazzled mothers trying to keep children close; uniforms worn by the backbone of our hospitality and food service industries; carefree millennials with headphones and a swagger; honorable military veterans on a pension getting out to see the city. So many lives in a hurry to get somewhere else.
You can find all this and more at the ART bus station at 49 Coxe Avenue. I challenge you to spend a dollar and ride a bus to get a glimpse of life outside your doors. It is interesting to me to sit and watch people go by, as if in an extended play. I sit on the bench and wonder: What brought them here? Where are they from? Do they like their life? What is their story? You cannot discover someone's real story by reading the mask they wear every day.
When my daughter goes, strangers become friends. Lonely faces light up when she ignores social mores and walks up to ask questions and give unreserved hugs. There is no filter, no fear, no judgement, and people usually respond in kind. What if we all quit being so busy putting up walls that we broke barriers and made someone smile every day?
So, ride the bus and count your blessings. Today, my daughter ran into a classmate, I got asked out, and we ran into her father. Now there's a story, but you'll have to wait and buy the book....!