Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bus Report #733

I caught an early 38 this morning and sat squished between two women who smelled, alternately, like mothballs and buttery danish cookies, the kind in the blue tin.
I got out at Fillmore and waited for the 22 by myself, watching birds fly around overhead until they settled on the wires across the street.
Eventually one of the construction workers joined me. I hadn't seen him for a while. I said good morning, he said good morning, and then he stepped into the middle of the street to look and see if the bus was on its way.
He smiled and nodded, said, "Bus coming."
Then he said, "I was on vacation."
"Oh, really? Where did you go?" I asked. So far, this was the longest conversation we'd ever had.
"China," he said. "China. Just got back, last night."
"What! Aren't you exhausted?" I asked, grinning.
He nodded. "Yes," he said. "Very tired."
He had been there for Lunar New Year, for a couple of weeks, and just as the bus arrived I said, "Well, happy new year and welcome back."
He laughed and wished me a happy new year, too, and we got on the bus.
Lacey greeted me with a "Hey, Ray-Chal!" and the world's oldest school crossing guard raised his hand in a silent hello.
I greeted them both and sat down.


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