Mike Force

For the last three years, while walking to work, I've passed the Greyhound station, where a disheveled elderly man mutters to himself as he paces the sidewalk.

"Waiting, waiting, waiting," he chants.

I don't know if he's homeless and/or mentally ill—I try not to live by assumption—but he certainly has poor hygiene and eccentric obsessions.

My curiosity about his biography has grown over the years, but I'd resisted the urge to engage with him.

Until yesterday. "Waiting, waiting, waiting," he chanted. "What are you waiting for?" I asked. "My wife died," he said. "But she's going to be on the next bus. She died of cancer.

"We were married 40 years. She's dead. But she's on the next bus." I don't know if his wife and marriage were real, but his eyes were blue hurricanes—destructive and devoted. "Next bus, next bus, next bus," he chanted.

I have never loved anyone like that. I don't think I could survive it. But I want it. I want to be ferociously waiting and pacing and chanting for somebody who may or may not be arriving.

Don't you want to love like that? Of course you do. Everybody's madness is the same madness. recommended