Rick was writing in his notebook, waiting for the Greyhound to carry him back home.
He'd been watching, observing, looking at the people around them and seeing them. Not merely picking them up with his eyes as you might pick up an object. He saw them, the bright colourful trails of their past inscribed on everything about them.
He loved them, he loved all of it, enough to want to tell the universe about it, to give it thought, sense, structure. To bear witness.
It was good to write again.
'Whatcha writin' there' asked a voice. Rick didn't look up because he had to finish. the thought had to be concluded.
When he looked up, he had forgotten about what he was writing and the people had gone.
'Yeah you've been writing a while, I didn't want to interrupt you'
Rick nodded. 'Thanks' he said. 'I was writing about you' he said also.
'Yeah I saw.'
'I wondered what you'd say, if you were here, if you saw what I saw'
The lanky man with a ponytail sat down beside Rick on the bench, propping himself up with his elbows on his knees. 'Hard to know your own mind, let alone someone else's'
'Well I guess you can ask direct' the lanky man said with a smile.
Rick shrugged. 'Maybe it's only important that I ask the question, maybe.'
The Lanky man nodded.
They sat in silence, in the empty bus station, until the lanky man asked. 'Say, would you mind if I asked you a question?'
'Sure' said Rick.
'What would you do?'
'I wouldn't do anything' Rick said instantly. 'I'd let them be who they are, what they are.'
The lanky man scowled. 'I tried that. Look at what it got us'
Rick laughed gently. 'Like you're responsible for everyone else? We're responsible for ourselves, one way or another. The sooner we realise it, the sooner we choose what happens'
The lanky man sat quietly for a moment.
'Come's a reckoning though. Sure enough. The wind rises and the storm with it'
Rick nodded. 'Well, I guess that's in the other direction.'
The lanky man smiled and stood up, dusting a wide brimmed hat. "Sure. I've kept you talking long enough, you take care now Rick'
Rick nodded.'You too.'
Rick watched as the pale rider mounted his horse and rode off into the storm.