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Friday, May 30, 2014

A Moment at the Bus Stop; or Do I Now Qualify for a Subsidized Ticket Price?

The new job may be taking up more brain space than I had estimated.

I stand inside the bus stop, kitty-corner from Mary Tyler Moore.  There she stands, brass-covered, permanently cheery, her beret forever about to be flung into the air.  My collapsible umbrella, a pink and black striped number with, apparently, an objection to being collapsed, hangs from my left hand.

I may or may not be breathing through my mouth.

It’s hard to tell, you see.  The synapses with which I normally detect that sort of thing stopped firing a number of hours ago, the result of a level of confusion previously experienced, I imagine, by people who find themselves washed ashore, perhaps coming to consciousness on a beach somewhere.

Meanwhile, I and a half-dozen of my new friends wait, slightly moistened, staring up the street, the direction from which our buses will come.

Just outside the all-glass bus stop, there is a planter, a large, brick-and-mortar affair filled with flora, with fauna, with the occasional cigarette butt or sample-sized liquor bottle.  I watch as the rain continues to fall on the flowers, on their pretty little faces.

The woman next to me smiles, and I smile back.

“I hate to say it,” she says, “but we really needed that rain.”

Her use of the past tense confuses me.  “Yes,” I say carefully, lest she take offense, “I wonder how long it’s going to continue.”

She gives me a funny look.  Perhaps the woman with the pink and black umbrella is not compos mentis. 

She smiles again.  “How long have you been standing in here?”

“I don’t know,” I admit, “ten minutes?  Fifteen?”

She chuckles.  “It stopped raining about 10 minutes ago,” she says.

I point at the planter.  “But –“

“Oh, honey,” she says.  “That’s the sprinkler system.  See?”

I open my eyes – and I see that she is right.  The only place, in all of Minneapolis, where there was still water falling, was inside the planter, just across from the statue of Mary Tyler Moore.


And to think:  My eyes were open that whole time. 

23 comments:

Bossy Betty said...

Well, at least you weren't in the grocery store wondering why the rain only fell on the vegetables!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
..but they were only primed for the on-coming bus. This is of course a euphemism...

Just think Pearl, one morning you will wake up and the 'bus' will be right at your door; no more waiting, no more chasing it down; just right there and you showing your double twist with roll over dismount. The sproggits and grimlots will not know what hit 'em. YAM xx

Sioux said...

Good thing you skirted carefully around her supposed mistake. I probably would have stuck my foot into my mouth and pointed out that the rain was still in the present tense...and then I would have looked like the fool that I am...

Pearl said...

Bossy, LOL! :-) A person could REALLY worry about themselves in that case!

Yam, oh, Yam. :-) That's wonderful. Yes -- someday the bus will be right there...

Sioux, a careful lesson for me after years of speaking before thinking, I assure you. Still have a touch of that, here and there...

Silliyak said...

Cue Commander Cody's "Lost In The Ozone Again"

vanilla said...

For someone who is keenly aware of her surroundings, an astute observer ...

joeh said...

Blame the new job, and the new jargon.

Love all your descriptions, but the collapsible umbrella with an apparent objection to being collapsed is great. I have owned several umbrellas with the same apparent objection.

Ms Scarlet said...

I used to always be the last person to take my umbrella down... sprinkler, or no sprinkler... I was always in dolly daydream land.
Sx

jenny_o said...

A self-watering planter? I'd assume it was raining, too, and I'm not even in a new job. Hang in there, girl!

Shelly said...

As long as you can recite your name and date of birth, you're going to be ok. As they told Mary, you're gonna make it after all.

savannah said...

It's OK. I don't know why, but it is, sweet pea. xoxoxo

Jono said...

Everything is going to be alright. Be as the leaf floating on the stream.

Elephant's Child said...

It sounds as if you have joined the 'may I be excused, my brain is full' class. Temporarily.

Gigi said...

You are not alone; we've all been there. Or, at least, I have.

Enjoy your weekend; you deserve it!

Joanne Noragon said...

I see you were on the way home, not the way in. That's a relief.

NotesFromAbroad said...

I hate it when strangers make me aware of my befuddlement.

love you.

Daisy said...

I don't think you were confused. I think it was just an optical illusion. You know, I bet smoke and mirrors might have been involved too. :)

River said...

I'm finding this very funny and I'm laughing. Because I've done similar and it's a relief to know I'm not the only one.

Geo. said...

My favorite Mary Tyler Moore quote: "I live in New York simply because I don't know any better." Nothing to do with your post but I share it in appreciation of your marvelous humor.

Suldog said...

Hilarious, as usual. I wish a whole bunch of newspapers would run your stuff. You deserve it.

Linda O'Connell said...

That is something I would do.

Parasol, tell her it's a parasol not an umbrella.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Oh my goodness talk about making me laugh and laugh and have my niece ask what is wrong with me

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh Pearl, I love how you tell a story. You cracked me up with Mary Tyler Moore until I realized you really do have a statue of her! And then the sprinklers. Ha!
Happy SUnday, xo jj