You may know that when it's cold outside I love taking the bus. Yesterday I insisted on it because FD needed the car. He could get me to work, but not home. The bus works just fine for me.
We share one car, multiple reasons. When the weather is good FD always rides his bike. But when it is bad, schlepping one another around to stay warm, which for others would feel like a hassle, feels intimate. Let's call that auto-intimacy.
|Not Ventra but not bad|
“I can’t help but notice your bag. . . Hines V.A., huh?""Were you in the second World War?" I ask.
"No, Korea. Then Viet Nam. Then I joined the Foreign Service. They pay you for that."
"Wow, thank you for your service. I'd take my hat off to you but it's too cold. What do you think of the new deal with Iran?"
"If it saves lives, I'm all for it," he says, serious. "I'm for anything but war. You know they just put on a new wing a the Hines V.A. and it is full of young people missing arms, legs, all kinds of dismemberment. Wars. Bombs. Lots of young men. Women. It's a beautiful wing of the hospital. For them."
We ramble on a little more about politics, and a woman sits down next to him, captures his imagination. She looks homeless to me, has a worn carry-on bag with all kinds of bold letters warning others not to tamper with it. She reaches into another bag and finds something to munch on and I turn away, look out the window.
I hear my friend asking her, "Are you diabetic? Cuz if you're diabetic you shouldn't be eating that."
I look and see she has an Entenmann's chocolate crumble doughnut and is feeling no pain. "I ain't diabetic," she replies. She smiles broadly at me and I smile back.
A new passenger, a diminutive woman of color, has a seat. Our war veteran immediately turns his discussion to her. He knows her. "Of course I have it!" He reaches into his pocket to grab his wallet and thumbs through the cards, finds what must be a discount card to something. In the process an ID falls to the floor and I reach for it, return it to him. The woman is thanking him profusely for the discount card and he smiles at me, thanks me.
At his stop, as he rises to go, I introduce myself, tell him I hope to see him again. He offers a warm, beefy hand and tells me his name. "Thank you again, thank you so much for picking up that card," he says sincerely. "At my age, you have no idea, it is so hard to do things like that. I'm eighty, you know."
"No problem, you're welcome. Live long and prosper, sir"
"I hope so," he says. "I'm going to the casino."
P.S. Happy Thanksgiving, friends.