The bus ride took five hours.
Just getting out of Manhattan at rush hour took 55 minutes- you could probably ride it on a bike in less than twenty.
Not that we were in a hurry.
But, now that I'm thinking of it, aren't bikes great!
Anyway, we both fell into our seats, exhausted, and almost immediately I began day-dreaming, wathching, looking out through the evening light, softly departing in its slow progression over the big apple.
Children, throwing basketballs, into hoops, women, embracing at a bus stop, old men, standing motionless, looking around, expresionless faces telling unknown stories, then looking at me... no they aren't looking at me, looking through me, at something else, something I can't see, can never see. Hair in braids, big black and puffy jackets with sweaty foreheads poking out from underneath, the sun glinting in peoples eyes, in the windows, out over the changing shapes of Manhattans city skyline. Churches, grandiose, massive, dwarfed by the colossal concrete and glass structures that surround them, a beauty, peculiar, different and all their own.
This city has a heart. My eyes close for a moment and I think I can see it, it breathes, sometimes it seems coarse, aggressive, and others, relaxed and laid back. Dangerously so, people walk out in front of cars, nonchalant, not knowing or caring, just walking, on another planet, in another place, with a different set of eyes.
Music plays in the background. Drums and bass, beating on into the dying rays, fading with each other, into some other time.
The door thrusts outwards, for a moment, and the bus driver turns. I catch a glimpse, I can see a cap on his head, 'New York Yankees,' sunglasses perched on top. He takes it off, there is no hair. His skin, dark and luminous, glistens from the suns dying rays that still, desperately clinging to the day in a futile attempt to stop the encroaching twilight, penetrate the thick glass windows, and then slowly, hesitantly evaporate into the moonlit night. A dark night, punctuated with splashes of light, splayed across the window.
And tomorrow, a 50 mile bike race through the city streets.
Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia