The Terrified Woman

The Terrified Woman sits near the back of the bus, as hard up against the window as it is possible to be without breaking the glass. She has her bag on her lap, clenched in a white knuckle two-handed death grip, and she sits absolutely motionless, apart from her eyes.

She sizes up everyone who enters the bus based on perceived threat, never daring to make eye contact, pupils dilating massively with terror if she realizes someone is about to sit next to her. She seems to think that everyone else in the world is an uncontrolled monster of carnal lusts and avarice, barely held in check by the thin veneer of civilization from stealing her and assaulting her bag.

The way she clutches her bag for reassurance suggests that it contains a weapon. Perhaps pepper spray. Perhaps a gun. Perhaps nunchuks – who knows? The only thing I can say for sure is that she is far closer to rampaging about with gleeful abandon and a deadly weapon than anyone else on the bus.

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