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Friday, July 18, 2014

A Moment on the Bus; or I Also Found a Stick of Gum in the Bottom of my Purse

Early-morning Pearl is a simple creature, a woman who dresses, gathers her things and heads to the bus stop without thought of why but with the knowledge, only, that she must.  

I’m not saying that you should, but if you were to, say, ever require a favor of me, early morning is your best bet for a favorable outcome.

While a bit slow in the morning, I am also observational, my mind a clean slate upon which the early-morning commuters leave tiny, crabbed notes.  Sometimes those notes are about interesting smells, sometimes they’re about the advisability of wearing spiked heels in a snow storm or giving a baby Diet Coke in a bottle. 

This morning's observation boards the bus four stops after mine, sits across the aisle and several rows ahead of me.  She is young, with fine features.  Dressed in nothing you would be able to recall later, she is wearing no make-up. 

As a woman who does not leave the house without lipstick, I note this in particular.

I watch as she digs through her purse and pulls out a tube of lotion.

And for the next 15 minutes, I watch as she applies lotion to her face.  With tiny, delicate fingers, she is almost artistic, blending the lotion in concentric circles across her cheekbones, down the line of her nose, blending up and out in every conceivable direction.

The woman across the aisle from me watches as well, frowning.  She self-consciously reaches up and touches her own cheek before returning to her book.

I away as well, look out the window, but I can’t help but look back, again and again, as the young woman continues.  Fifteen  full minutes of patting, pressing, fluttering ministrations done with the very tips of her fingers. 

Fifteen minutes.

And then it is over.  She pulls the cord and the bus pulls over at the next stop, and the young woman departs, taking her tiny fingers and her moisturized skin with her.


And early-morning Pearl stares out the window, and wonders about the people on the bus. 

27 comments:

Delores said...

We should all be so moisturized.

Pearl said...

Delores, I can only assume she believes this amount of attention to detail will result in wrinkle-free skin.

Daisy said...

I guess that helps her to fill her time (and her wrinkles-haha!) on the bus.

Should Fish More said...

In Seattle once on the way to my office I saw a couple in a car, he was driving, she was brushing her teeth. I moved in front of them, not wishing toothpaste foam on my windshield.

Sioux's Page said...

Maybe she could set up a moisturizing booth on the bus? Bring her your scaly, your cracked...

Pearl said...

Daisy, oh, nicely done. :-)

Should Fish More, do you really think she spit out the window?!
I once watched a woman apply mascara. While driving. Wonder if she's still alive...

Sioux, you know, in the winter I'll bet you could wander around a bus, offering a squeeze of lotion or two for a quarter, no problem. We are a dry, needy lot from October to, oh, August...

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

You make the simplest things just lovely.

Daisy said...

I'm off to get some moisturizer - thanks for the reminder.

Maybe she is paid by the company to remind others to cream, cream, cream.

Linda O'Connell said...

Wonder if she was a masseuse allowing her fingers to do the talking? A woman once sat down in the show next to me and started flossing.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Line erasure.

Have just given myself a facial massage 'cos I got so tensed up reading this... YAM xx

jenny_o said...

I wonder how many busses she'd have to take to get the entire "face" put on. Five or so, would you say? I hope she had a bus pass.

Geo. said...

If more people slept in Tupperware, like I do, they wouldn't have to moisturize.

Joanne Noragon said...

The ultimate "Armchair Traveler." Not a moment of life wasted.

Jayne Martin said...

What Dawn said... :) I so envy your powers of observation and ability to make any detail engaging.

Elephant's Child said...

Buses, and their indigenous inhabitants are fascinating aren't they? Fascinating - and sometimes very, very scary.

vanilla said...

You wonder. Yet you no longer need wonder why she wears no makeup. Surely there is no need, considering the attention her face gets. Do keep on people-watching!

Chicken said...

Can't talk now, Pearl. I'm running out to Target to see if they have any giant tupperware containers on sale. #lovegeo

PS not that I'm a size "giant". I'm a size medium, I swear. But tupperware runs small. Great. Now I sound all defensive and like I might really be a size Giant. You know what? I am. I'm a giant. I'm a giant with dry skin and it would take me an f@#$ng Year on the bus to moisturize my whole face. In my next life, I will be bird-like.

jenny_o said...

@ Chicken - "bird-like"? hee hee

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

All us women need to take care of their faces we don't want to look older than our years, have to say when I ride the bus I like to look around at the people on it and wonder about them and some I wonder if they have a mirror and if so do they look into it before leaving the house

River said...

I've done hand lotion on the bus and chapstick too, but never a face moisturising. For me, moisturiser is always part of the early morning before breakfast routine.

joeh said...

I'll bet her finger tips are wrinkled from all that moisturizer!

Suldog said...

This is why I love your stuff. You see things most people don't (aside from the woman across the aisle from you, of course, but she looked away and you continued observing.)

Rosemarie Blackthorn said...

I've seen women put on full makeup during a bus ride. I was astounded. I can't even do eyeliner straight when I hold my breath and have my elbow propped on the dressing table.

People are weird. It is known.

Diane Tolley said...

You'd best beware the person who gets on the bus carrying a bar of soap and a loofah . . .

Indigo Roth said...

A story in a bottle. Nicely done x

Launna said...

I love people watching on the bus too... wondering about other peoples lives...

It is interesting what people will actually do on a bus :)

Suzanne Casamento said...

Did she have wrinkles? How was her skin? I'm wondering if I should start giving myself daily facial massages. ;)