The Ghost Bus

Of course, everybody knew there weren’t any ghosts on the Ghost Bus. It was kitsch, halloweeny-stuff that livened up the rest of the year. Ooh, the ghost bus is in town! Grab the kids, let’s hop on board! What wacky murals cover it now? Remember the year where it was painted to look like the Mystery Machine?

It was a hearse for culture. People were encouraged to bring things aboard as offerings- half-finished screenplays, the outline for that novel you were going to write in college, the first ten watercolors you tried before deciding you really ought to learn guitar. Give them to the Ghost Bus! The Ghost Bus loves your failures!

I had designed new footwear, and it’s really quite difficult to describe to you. This could be the reason venture capital was impossible to line up, but I think it was primarily due to the economy. The dotcom bubble wasn’t ready for new shoes. They were too busy sitting down at their desks to think about their feet. But the Ghost Bus loves my shoes. I wore them to the Ghost Bus the last time it was in town.

I walked home barefoot, and every pebble was a tender caress and a whisper in my ear, saying, “You did your best! Other people did better! Sleep now, the Ghost Bus loves you!”

This morning, my son came in screaming. He told us the Ghost Bus was here and we had to go see it. He had gotten good grades this year, and I promised we could go. I was making a sandwich at the time. I set it in a bowl so it wouldn’t get messy. The bowl was filled with water. I will bring the wet sandwich to the Ghost Bus.

Next year, I hope my son does not do so well in school. I hope he develops bad habits, like smoking and swearing louder than me. We will still go see the Ghost Bus. I will give him to it. I will be the proudest father as he drives it away, and the sun will set like a million tiny pieces of giving up.

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