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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bus Lessons: Despite What You May Have Been Told, You're Not All That Special

The woman in front of me is becoming more irritated by the moment, the very pitch of her head giving off cartoon stink-lines of frustration.

You see, the elderly man sharing a seat with me is tapping his hand on the back of her seat.

It’s not even the back of her seat, per se, that he is patting, but the seat that will eventually be occupied by whoever sits next to her.

Tap. Tap. Tap. His hands are freckled, big-knuckled, and deliberate. He’s not wearing an iPod; but his head is nodding in time, his hand lightly patting the seat.

He hears music.

She turns to glare at him, her shiny, smooth hair swirling prettily with the movement. She is fashionable but anxious, her immaturity lending a thoughtlessness I'll bet she's unaware of to the outfit. She has been inconvenienced. She pulls out her phone and texts in short, staccato bursts.

The world should know how bothered she is.

From the old man’s side, there is no indication that he has seen her expression. Perhaps he’s grown used to it, the frustrated annoyance of a world that goes faster every day. He smiles vaguely at her, a brief acknowledgement of her presence, his thoughts with whatever music is playing in his head.

I want to tap her on the shoulder, tell her to relax, that it’s beyond her control, that someday she, too, will be old and on the bus.

That the light-handed tapping of an old man is nothing to fret about.

But she would never believe me.

And so I do what the bus has taught me: I go back to my iPod, to my own music, leaning back and being appreciative, again, of no longer being young.

Because it looks as exhausting as I remember it.

23 comments:

Hilary said...

I love your bus observations. That kind of patience is within the grasp of some young.. but not many. Time and experience will come to her too, eventually. Hopefully. Sweet tale.

jenny_o said...

"... her immaturity lending a thoughtlessness I'll bet she's unaware of to the outfit..."

A wonderful description. Some old people are like this, too. Guess they haven't grown up yet.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

The impatience of others! Constant in the city. I was just cursed and beeped at for being in the left lane - in a left lane exit, mind you - and slowing down the man behind me because I didn't want to go 90 mph - around a curve. In an exit. Sigh.

Geo. said...

Wonderful piece of situational poetry, Pearl.

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Oh my, what a wonderful piece. Including the lesson about minding one's own business. I've picked up a saying I've been seeing on Facebook: "Not my circus, not my monkeys."

Delores said...

She'll grow up eventually but it will be a long and painful trip.

vanilla said...

That is why the young turn old so quickly-- impatience wears them out. It's exhausting, and they've an abundance of it.

Catalyst/Taylor said...

Wonderful observations.

Susan Williams said...

"So well written," she said, flipping her silken tresses with impatience.
But...still...toddlers kicking my seat on an airplane?
I confess...it's like Chinese water torture.

Elephant's Child said...

How I would hate to be young again. Fortunately it is not going to be a happening thing.

Joanne Noragon said...

I had to help a young person recover her senses recently, by calling her "my dear."

fmcgmccllc said...

Wisdom such as yours is worth all the gold in the world.

Marty Damon said...

Recently my car was in back of a similarly impatient person. He honked at everyone in front of him who had the temerity to slow down and turn left.
And of course you know what happened.
Inevitably - because there is occasionally justice in the world - he slowed to turn left. I leaned on my horn for all I was worth.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
...ah, the thrum of life. For him, the seat-back, for her, the phone-pad... and for Pearl, the pod... and the keyboard!!! Glad you shared it my friend...&*> YAM xx

Barbara said...

I'm old and I still get impatient sometimes, but I don't bite as much any more. The trick is to breatheeeee and relax!

Rose said...

You brought tears to my eyes. *sniff sniff*

Douglas said...

Or, as one of my golf pals is happy to opine, I don't know why you are complaining about your game... you are not that good.

Daisy said...

Being young was exhausting. Unfortunately, I'm finding that being old is exhausting too. :D Music makes everything better though.

Chicken said...

Rock on Pearl. This was great.

Chicken said...

By the way, have you checked Peg O' Leg's post today? Reminded me of you.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Now you have me wanting to bitch-slap her. Seriously. And I don't even KNOW her.

Out on the prairie said...

Sometimes a song just stays with you all day long.

Tabor said...

Wonderful and congrats on your POTW!!