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Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Bus Stop on a Summer's Day; or Puff-Puff-Give!

Meanwhile, somewhere in the heart of a snow-encrusted Minneapolis, a lone woman, thoughtfully bug-eyed with distraction at the new operating system installed on her computer, drifts back to a simpler, warmer time…



It is July, and I am waiting for the bus.

Minneapolis in the summertime!  Is there a sweeter place?  Winter has come and gone, the last of the city’s monstrous top-secret snow pile, Mount Sears, swirling, clockwise, down the grates and moving south.  Women in skirts, freshly freed from their layers, strut in heels, their naked knees blinking in the sun.  Men saunter, sans snow shovels, heads bare, like seasonal parolees.  Hanging flower baskets the size of kiddie pools hang from lampposts, a profusion of color and scent.

Above us, the sky is a deep blue of the postcard variety, a warm and endless expanse of giddy, temperate love.

Winter is over; and we are utterly grateful.

The bus stop at 7th and Nicollet is a bustling, ever-changing menagerie of folk; and at this time of day, primarily made up of nine-to-five-ish commuters.

This does not bother Stephanie, the Tattoo-Faced Woman. 

Have you met Stephanie?  Stephanie has tattooed herself right out of gainful employment.  A slender, attractive woman with surprisingly little compunction against going door-to-door begging for change, she is often seen on her bicycle in my particular neck of the woods. 

And there she is now, sitting on one of the large raised flower beds that populate Nicollet Mall.  She is passing a joint to an Hispanic man with the build of a bowling ball and the secret smile of the Buddha.  Next to him is a floor lamp, minus a shade but still sporting a light bulb. 

He picks up the electric cord to the lamp, attempts to plug it into Stephanie’s ear.

They laugh.

And I laugh, too.

 I am not wearing boots.  I am not wearing a coat that reaches mid-calf.  The weather today does not make my eyes water or my skin hurt.

And that is all that matters.


The bus comes.  Smiling, I climb the steps, and move to the back of the bus.

18 comments:

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Hahaha!!! Mount Sears! We have one here in Central Ohio, too. Right there at the Indian Mound Mall.

Steve said...

Nice prose.

Delores said...

Every parking lot has its mountain. I envision a glowing golden orb descending over Guelph, spreading its heat over us as we stand frozen in the shade of the snow mountains. It is a long way off. Memories are all that is keeping us warm.

Pearl said...

The fun part about those snow mountains is that they're still melting in June. :-)

We takes our fun where we gets it.

Joanne Noragon said...

I took pictures of the foothills and mountains one day, with a blog post in mind. It was just too depressing; I deleted them. Perhaps if the sun had glinted off the ravines that day, but no....

Pearl said...

Joanne, some days are just dreary. That's why I sometimes revert to things that happened almost a year ago. :-)

Daisy said...

"their naked knees blinking in the sun" Ahahaha! I love your way with words, Pearl. And this made me wish I could be picked up, carried to the future, and plunked back down into the middle of summer. :)

I hope you are having a good week and are figuring out the new system.

jenny_o said...

Beautiful descriptions, Pearl. I recognize those days of blue skies and gratefulness, even though mine are in May because by July the weather is once again trying to kill me (the sun makes my eyes water and my skin hurt!)

I think that guy was making a pass at Stephanie. Just thought I'd throw that in there.

hoodyhoo said...

Here in NJ, we have glaciers on every street corner. I am told they will be gone by June.

vanilla said...

Ah, reminiscing. Key to surviving a Northern winter. Hope.

Elephant's Child said...

You almost made me like summer. Almost.

Suldog said...

I remember Stephanie (or, at least, your story about her.) As a Christian man, I find it fairly reprehensible when someone tries to guilt me into giving them something by asking me if I am one. If the person didn't start with that spiel, I probably would have given some change, maybe a buck. I'm a soft touch and a Christian man. But when you try to play on my guilt... no, even if it's the nicest day of the year.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Is she in confession?

River said...

Hanging flower baskets the size of kiddie pools, I like the sound of that, it would brighten up the dreariest street for sure.

Mitchell is Moving said...

Did the lamp work?

Antares Cryptos said...

Did you see the one about icicles in Chicago's toilets? That is just not right.

Pat Tillett said...

"...naked knees blinking in the sun." One of the best lines I've read in a while. This was a good one Pearl (actually, all of them are).

Diane Tolley said...

They're seriously considering using Edmonton's snow pile as the site for the next Winter Olympics. Sigh.