It is 7 in the evening and we are on the fung wah bus from new york to boston. We were just in time as the queue was getting long and were lucky enough to get two empty seats, in the fifth row.. Well, I have traveled with a stranger next to me, but couldn’t imagine doing it tonite, with him around.

In front of us were two girls and before them a Chinese hetro couple. They looked like teens, but I can never tell the true age of a mangolian race.. They always look as if they are in their early twenties, may be i am exaggerating a little bit. But don’t you think they never age..

Anyways, as the bus picked speed into the crazy weekend traffic, and the sun reluctantly was setting in, every one around started to get comfy. We watched the skyline of the city as we crossed the bridge, and then soon it passed through the long row of grave yards, before it was just trees..

The lady sitting at the window in front of us took her book out and started reading from where she had previously bookmarked.. I couldn’t really tell what the one sitting next to her was up to, since i was sitting behind her and he was sitting next to window. I peeped through the gap in between the front row seats and I saw the chinese girl resting her head on the guy’s shoulder…..

Very cute indeed. I made him look at them and said.. ‘what if I rest on your shoulder?’. He smiled and said.. ‘hate crime..’. I smiled back.. After all what he said is true. It was just a week ago, we had that unfortunate incident (or hopefully an accident). Walking home from a friday evening dinner, we had to pass a bunch of teenagers just a couple of blocks away from home. As we passed them, someone in the bunch said, ‘is he your boy friend?’. Not really aiming at one of us in particular, but i sure did think – ‘not yet, but would like to..’. Before that thought ended, I sensed one of the kid trying to steal the wallet from my back pocket.

In a reflex, I turned around and looked him in the eye and in the next moment some heavy object made an impact on my face.. which fortunately was his bare hand. There was a stream of blood and a feeling that something broke, which sent us in a panic run into the building and call the cops.

They never followed us and I (and he) keep wondering if it was a just an act of hate or an display of superiority. The wounds have healed but the trauma isn’t settled yet.

Of course, in this bus nothing of that sort would ever happen (i hope..). Nonetheless, we settled to holding hands as he eventually drifted into nap. And my thoughts drifted into the events of day.. The reason we were in new york..

It is pride parade day,
the march from central park to stone wall park.
fifth avenue from timesquare to east village flocked by queers..
an flamboyant display of diverse queer life styles..
from dykes to bears, drags to jocks, clubs to cops..
unbound by ethnicity and geographies,
supported by human rights and religious institutions
promoted by commercial organizations
and of course.. the politicians shaking hands..

It is a feeling that I can hardly express with words.. It is the numbers, that show up on this day is absolutely stunning. What was more delightful this year was to watch tapak and husbear march in the saalga. tapak was bearing the flag.. I tried screaming at the top of my voice, but so were many others..

Oh.. and like a six year old I enjoy screaming for the beads that they throw.. And for some reason, I get the beads and he gets the condoms, not just at this parade but even at the parade in boston..

It is practically not possible to stand at the same point and watch the entire parade. We did though almost till the end.. Thanks to the bite we grabbed earlier and my friends who joined us.. Hanging out with them was … well.. again one of those feelings that can’t be expressed truly with words.

The bus stopped for a short break..

The sun was completely out of sight now and as we settling in for the remaining drive.. I saw it. The lady towards the window opened her book again.. and the one sitting next to her reached out for the lights above..

Wrapped around her wrist was a chain of beads.. just like the ones that was in my bag…

The chinese guy and the girl were back with their cute state and we held our hands together as we drifted again into a light sleep…

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