return to field notes

Field notes and photos

Justin the familiar field notes

October 10 , 2006, 2pm
UK to Fayette Mall

Since I’ve regularly been taking the 2pm bus home after teaching my TEL 322 class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I keep meeting up with Justin at the bus stop. Justin is a psychology senior with bright red curly hair and some serious sideburns, so he’s hard to miss. The conversations have been building between us starting from, “there’s our bus” to “what class are you coming from?” to “how was class today?”. Now we talk a lot at the bus stop. Since we get on when the bus is rather full, we don’t always get a seat next to each other. Today I let him in on “the bus project”. He asks lots of questions and I ask him if I can do a quick interview. “Sure” he says.

The ride home is fairly quiet. The windows are open and a gentle breeze blows through the bus. Justin and I talk a very little. A few seats up a college couple (20ish and white and got on with us at UK) lean into each other and whisper and giggle. He has his arm around her and they seem to see no one other than each other. Behind them sits an Arabic female, 25ish and a little girl, 5. She gets ready to pull the cord as we near the Central Baptist stop when the black male behind her, 35ish, tells her it’s the next stop. I could not tell they were together until this interaction. Just seeing these two examples of interaction contrasted to each other brings up another issue of how familiars act toward each other in public – with much public display of affection (PDA) or almost total lack of interaction at all.

Justin’s reading, I’m writing and after he says good-bye and gets off, I just sit, enjoying the breeze and the sun until I get off three stops later. If ever there were a day to “feel” friendly, the weather would encourage it today.

return to top