Today I noticed: a fat, fuzzy bee walking in circles on the concrete in my backyard. My neighbors cat watched it too. Its wings did not move, it shuffled from place to place.

Today I noticed a headline, but no real story about a train accident in India. The train hit a jeep overflowing with people returning from a wedding. Twelve died, including the bride. I imagined the story in many ways: a young bride finally free of her parents’ smothering love, even though she was secretly terrified to live without their familiar smells and routines. Or a mature bride finally experiencing the relief of social acceptance, already pregnant and bursting with secrets. I imagined the others in the jeep – her favorite young cousin wearing a dress in a way that made her seem much older, or a brother’s best friend with shy hands, whom she dreamt of often, or the spineless father she had been trying to escape and had once set on fire by accident. Then the train passengers – I imagined an engineer working three jobs to measure up to something his long dead mother still demanded as she haunted his apartment where he lived alone. He was estranged from the brother who had gotten married that night because they had argued violently over who was to care for their ailing mother every night until she passed. I imagined a male passenger who had been planning to leave his wife because he thought he was in love with another woman, a woman who looked like this bride, now dead.

And why twelve? Who was left behind, and who hadn’t wanted to get in the jeep to begin with? Who made room for them and did any of the jeep riders survive? It feels slightly shameful to wonder so much, because in the end these people will likely be forgotten, unless they were loved or hated by someone who still lives.

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