August 20, 2016

An Open Letter from the Fat Guy on the Bus.

Farris Holliday on Instagram

To the Glaring Eyes on the Bus.

I see you. Don’t pretend. I saw you look at me and think, “there’s no way I’m sitting next to that guy.”

I get it…standing almost six-foot-six, with shoulders the size of a small door frame, I’m not finding this the most comfortable place either. It’s a rainy Friday afternoon with rush hour traffic. The bike shoes are hung up, and you tap your Orca Card and push toward the back of the bus.

But guess what? The seat next to me is the only one.

I cram into the corner as I see you approach trying to invite you into the seat next to me. Our eyes meet, and I see your smile fade. I watch your eyes turn from green to a deep shade of, “Damn it… Seriously?”

And you keep.



Here I am, doing my absolute best, smashing my knees against the plastic backing of the seat in front of me, arm contorted halfway between my chin and the window to my left—and you keep walking. But hey! Maybe you had a long day and sat behind a desk and the idea of standing for your next 30 minutes of a commute is alluring.

Or maybe you don’t want to sit next to the fat guy with dreadlocks.

I’ve learned I won’t meet my future wife on a bus. Hell no. I’ll meet her somewhere I can stretch out and not play the clown car game with this tiny little seat and this not-so-tiny body.

I feel your eyes. I can sense your disinterest in an apparently “non-vacant” open seat. My right side apologizes. I watch you assess my frame and I sink even lower. But don’t worry, nothing you can think of me would rival what I’ve thought of myself in front of a mirror.

When I see those looks and those eyes and can feel what I sense you screaming at me, I smile. Because you can’t make me smaller than I am, though you wish you could.

This is quite literally the most uncomfortable I will be all day. Trust me. So why not snuggle up? Sit down. Take off your bag, rest your head on my shoulder—I don’t care. Old or young. Man or woman. Sit down, say something. Tell me about your day. For the love of God, put down your iPhone and talk to me.

You never know what story you’ll get.

Yours in transit,
The fat guy on the crowded bus.


Author: Farris Holliday

Image: Farris Holliday on Instagram

Editor: Toby Israel


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