Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Old Lady

As we head into the holiday season, warmth and good cheer shrink and shrivel like leaves in me.  Misanthropy takes root and hold ...

I was taking a bus the other night, an overnight trip of about five hours.  As I'm climbing aboard, struggling with "carry-ons" that should have been checked and stowed underneath, a young couple is trying to sit together.

I dive for the only remaining bank of two empty seats and throw myself and my sad baggage into it ... then start flexing and hoisting, and shoving and spinning, and trying in vain to get at least one of my bags to fit into an overhead luggage bin.

It's not happening, and after several long, frustrated moments of grunting and carrying on in the bus aisle like Curly from the Three Stooges, I give up and resignedly take my bag -- which had become wedged in the luggage bin, half in and half out, so I couldn't pull it out without the help of an old lady whose foot I'd stepped on -- off the bus to check it below (which, again, I know, I should have done in the first place!).

I get back on-board, and the young couple trying to sit together, is now sitting together in my bank of seats!  Not only, but they've slid my duffel bag off the window seat I'd planned to use and sleep in during the overnight trip, and put it on the floor ... and then, ever so subtly, with their four feet, slid it out into the aisle for me!

"Man, would you mind -- it's just me and my girlfriend, this is a five hour trip.  Do you mind if we sit together?  There's an empty seat ... "  He gestures toward the old lady - alternately scowling and beaming at me, and quietly singing hymns to herself.

"No," I say.  Just like that, just the one syllable.  "No."

Well, that one syllable was enough to drive the packed bus into emotion!  A chorus of "Why?" and "C'mon man!" and "...wrong with you?" split the night bus, and I ended up sleeping beside the old lady.

“Ahole”, ©Jeff Glovsky