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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Late Afternoon Minneapolis; or Who WAS That Dapper Young Man?



It is 96 degrees outside, the humidity firmly anchored amongst numbers considered “tropical”.  The heat rises from the sidewalk in wavy stink lines, seemingly bending the air. 

The pigeon on the ground in front of me walks, slowly, the very picture of inner-city, bird-related heat exhaustion.

The bus arrives and we line up, eager and grateful for the cool, dry air. 

The bus is full today, and I move to the back, back to the last available seat, just beyond the rear exit.  I like this seat:  you take two steps up to it so it’s raised, just slightly, and there’s a camera not far from away. 

I like to think that if anything strange were to happen, it would be caught on film. 

Once I have reached the seat, however, I am forced to stand there for a bit.  I give a small smile to a middle-aged woman in a Tinkerbell tee-shirt, and she grudgingly moves her backpack from the last seat on the bus, something she does with a small sigh. 

I consider pursing my lips at her in a show of stern, Minneapolis-style disapproval and then decide against it.

Nobody wants trouble.

Especially if it will be on camera. 

I sit in the newly vacated seat, adjust my lunch bag, my purse, on my lap.  I pull out a small decorative handkerchief, mop at the sweat moustache I’ve developed. 

The bus continues to fill.

A young man stands in the space next to the rear exit.  This means that because I am on a raised seat just beyond that space, he and I are at eye level.

But rather than doing the polite thing on a bus, which is to look forward, toward the driver, he is looking toward the back, in my direction.

But he’s not looking at me.

He’s looking at himself.

He reaches up, adjusts the fish-eye mirror positioned over the backdoor.  He turns his head, grins at himself from his good side, holds his phone/camera up, captures this special moment between him and himself.

He grins up at himself, points a finger into the mirror:  you.    

I don’t know where to look, so I continue to look at him.

He readjusts the mirror, checks his teeth.  Satisfied with what he sees, he grasps the shoulders of his tee-shirt, snaps it out several times in what passes for “jaunty” these days.

The bus comes to a stop just outside the post office, and with one final check in the mirror, our debonair, commuter-about-town de-buses.

I turn to my seatmate.

Tinkerbell smiles at me.  “Now that was a good-lookin’ man.  Mmm-mmm-mm.”

32 comments:

Z said...

I'm lost for words. Not for laughter, nor admiration at the way you tell 'em.

Indigo Roth said...

I deny everything. I've never even been to Minneapolis. Still, I'm sure your seat-mate was right. Mmm-mmm-mm.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Love the scene you set here Pearl. Perhaps he was on the way to a job interview and needed a jolt of self-confidence!

Wait, it gets 96 in Minnesota?

joeh said...

I took the train and had the same backpack/briefcase pet peeve...people who catch an attitude because I want to sit and they have to put their stuff on their lap. "Do I really have to say EXCUSE ME PLEASE? Can you not see me standing!!"

sorry, flash back.
love your bus trips.

haphazardlife said...

Cool air? On a bus? You have air conditioned buses?

I'm moving to Minneapolis.

Mitchell is Moving said...

I would have taken a picture of him taking a picture of himself... But maybe that's not something you can get away with in Minnesota.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
COL! MMmmmm-mmm, Pearl girl, you knows how to talk 'em up! I loved him and I couldn't even see him...

YAM xx

Patricia said...

HAH. He thought so too! :)

... inner-city, bird-related heat exhaustion? Nice!

Pearl said...

THe buses are indeed air-conditioned. It's a beautiful thing.

Minneapolis has potential yearly temperature swing of at least a hundred degrees. :-) Wait'll I start my "I froze to death at the bus stop, this is my last will and testament" posts. They're only a couple months away! HA!

sage said...

You do capture what most overlook, nice writing Pearl!

jabblog said...

Well, it made a pleasant change to see someone attractive - I don't envy Narcissus's girl or boyfriend.

Delores said...

Lucky you...cool bus, cool dude...mmmm mmmmm.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

It's the Fonz of the Millennial generation. Mmmmm mmm mmm.

Joanne Noragon said...

Tinkerbell is a connoisseur.

jenny_o said...

A perfect ending for a wonderful post. I love the line "...captures this special moment between him and himself"!

He's probably lucky he got off where he did, before the bus driver decided to turf him for fiddling around with the mirror :)

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

He's soooo vain!
He probably thinks this blog is about him!
Don't he . . . don't he?

Susan Kane said...

He probably put the photo on FB before his feet hit the pavement.

savannah said...

LOL! great storytelling, sugarpie! i think Susan Kane probably nailed exactly what happened when he de-bussed xoxoxoxo

bill lisleman said...

Oh give the gent a break. He probably saved up for a long time for this bus ride and even dressed up for the occasion.

Simply Suthern said...

How big is that camera? On Film?

Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

I'm surprised the bus driver didn't yell at him for adjusting the mirror. If I had tried to do something like that that's what would have happened to me.

vanilla said...

Mmmm, mmm,mm; I think the selfie thing has gotten out of hand.

Elephant's Child said...

Did his self-appreciation (worship) convince Tinkerbell of his looks?

Gigi said...

Mmm-mmm-mm - I'm sure that's EXACTLY what he was thinking when he was preening.

Daisy said...

I wonder if it's on his FB page yet? I'll bet anything (almost) that he's posted his picture online, probably with a note about the "cute chick" sitting there watching him.

Rose L said...

Ahh yes, handsome young men. I always worry they will notice the drool on my lips.

jeanie said...

It is a little known fact that the young and beautiful are there for the rest of us, as we all uplift for a moment and aspire - sure as heck beats the beaten down and perspire on offer from the grumps, eh?

Mmmm mmm - and his job there was done.

River said...

Makes a nice change from the stringy hair baggy pantsed brigade doesn't he?

Linda O'Connell said...

Well what do you know? He may have his photo in the post office, too.

goatman said...

I can't believe its that hot in The Cities . . . we used to vacation north of Mille lacs and commented whenever the temps got above 85° there!

Eva Gallant said...

You capture the simplest things and make them fascinating. That's why I try to never miss your blog....even while I'm not posting or reading others.

Diane Tolley said...

Heehee! My first thought when I see someone like that? "Would the two of you like some privacy?"