Bus 15 pulled up to the curb, ten feet from the path I was beating home. It is one of those "kneeling" busses, with the low floor and the ability to lower itself to the curb so folks with wheels can just wheel themselves right in.
The front door opened to let on this hooded sweatshirt guy.
The door opened and the lights went on inside the bus.
Earlier, I had been watching the Newshour with Jim Lehrer (today featuring the Macedonian Ambassador to the United States defending Macedonia's sudden displacement of Kosovar refugees).
The image of a hundred thousand Kosovars huddled together on a trash-filled field with no food and water was beating a path behind me.
I was walking quickly, and barely keeping ahead of it.
The door opened and the lights went on in the bus. I stopped beating my path home.
The image of the Kosovar refugees smacked me square in the back of the head.
I stared into Bus 15 and I couldn't tell the difference between its ragged passengers and the hundred thousand refugees huddled together in my memory.
And Ambassador Ljubica Acevska was somewhere in there--in my memory, with the refugees--saying, "when the number reached 50,000, that's when the international community started providing food... we are providing all humanitarian assistance to [the] refugees... but it's also a responsibility of the international community to help us..."
The door on Bus 15 began to close and one of the women sitting on the bus--she was wearing a plastic bag to keep the rain off of her--she looked up at me with her yellow face and stringy hair and I could swear that she said, "thank God for this bus. We may never stop moving but at least here we are warm and dry."
There never will be 50,000 passengers on Bus 15 on a cold and wet Wednesday night. They will never get attention from the national community, let alone the international one.
The door on the bus closed. The lights went out.
As I again began moving away from the memory of the ambassador and her refugees the sign on the back of Bus 15 blinked its destination: "Mt. Tabor."
And Ambassador Acevska leaned in close and whispered, "we certainly are keeping track of where everybody is going."