I am waiting for the bus.
Bright fall evening, corner of Nicollet and 24th. McDonald’s is at my back; the lights on Nicollet are a stone’s throw in front of me. Having missed one bus by minutes, I am forced to wait another 25, maybe 30 minutes for the next one.
Still, I am feeling particularly pleased. The sky is the high, clear blue that we remember from our childhoods, the nearby restaurants are fragrant, and I’m relatively sure, in that nonsensical, self-delusional way that I have, that everyone likes me.
I laugh softly at myself. Yeah. I’m pretty sure everyone likes me.
There’s no arguing, though, that it’s a beautiful day. We are weeks away from snowfall, from the kind of cold that turns all porches into freezers, all cars into remarkably poor sleds.
For the moment, I am happy to be boot- and mitten-free. I vow to myself that I will remember this, that I will remember what it feels like to be wearing a skirt without leggings, to wear high heels without risking permanent cellular damage or a spectacular slip-and-slide, like last year’s, where I found myself flat on my back and half-way under a parked car.
I grin at the memory. The fall had been so fast, so smooth, that it hadn’t hurt at all, actually, and the look on the face of a passing motorist as I had slid had been priceless…
The world’s largest car pulls up, stops for the red light. The music is loud, but not too loud, a bass-heavy, I-could-dance-to-this kind of music.
The passenger, a handsome, dark-skinned man with a grin to match mine leans out his window, says something to me.
“What’s that?” I shout.
“I said ‘How you doin’, beautiful’?”
The grin on my face broadens.
I don’t always get hollered at by strangers, but when I do, I like to take charge of the situation.
“Well I’m doing well now, thank you!”
“Well all right,” the passenger says, all smiles. The light changes and the world’s largest car pulls ahead. Smiley leans out his window, yells as they drive away. “All right! You have a blessed day now!”
I raise my left arm, wiggle my fingers at him as the car takes a left at the green light and keeps on keepin' on.
It’s a bright fall evening, corner of Nicollet and 24th.
And I am waiting for the bus.