Wait long enough, and there she is. You see that? Twelve o’clock, as my dad likes to say, right there in front of you. It’s 28 degrees outside – four degrees cooler than required to, say, generate your own, artisanal ice – and she’s got short sleeves.
At this time of year, you know, you don’t see many short sleeves on the bus.
And that’s because they are under layers upon layers of rich, satisfying fabric.
Fabric! Nature’s way of saying, You, over there! I shall award your foresight in covering yourself with one more day of life.
She boards the bus, tight jeans, leather boots, a short-sleeved tee and a fashionably slouch-y wool cap. Practically embryonic with youth, her pink face flush with color – perhaps fever related – she and a friend search for a seat while those of us of a more practical bent view her with hooded, content eyes.
We are warm, and she is not.
Take that, adorably shivering female.
Somewhere in my head, of course, in a corner I reserve for random, spiteful thoughts, I am hoping that the bus will break down and that, partially frozen and struggling toward an awaiting bus blocks and blocks away – perhaps to be warmed and presented with complimentary firefighters and squirming, squealing puppies – she will fall, her smooth-soled footwear failing her, to come up dripping with salt-laden slush. Tearfully, she will proclaim, “I’ve been so foolish! I will never, ever dress without regard to weather conditions again!”
You know. Like I did.
Every day, of course, I am proven wrong in one form or another, and today is yet another example of this winning streak. Tiny, frozen female does not actually freeze, and there are no complimentary firefighters waiting at the end of the line offering to throw me over a thick, uniformed shoulder.
Perhaps I am riding the wrong bus?