Wednesday, March 10, 2010

On a Sunny Day

I missed the bus. The bus was already at the next stop when I turned the corner. Do I walk to the train station? I thought. My feet balanced on 4 inch heels vetoed that idea. Damn should I take a cab then? My wallet shot that idea down as well. Well I guess I'll be waiting for the next bus. Thankfully it was a gorgeous sunny spring day - the kind of day that makes you pull up your boss' email address to inform him that you are *cough cough* sick but then you realize this is the first of many beautiful sunny days so you carry your ass to work.

There was a woman sitting at the bus stop. She was an older woman with a few bags at her feet. She moved one bag off of an empty seat when she saw me approach.

"Thank you" I said as I eased down onto the chilled metal seat. We both watched a young man cross the street with the top of his pants barely covering his kneecaps. I shook my head in a state of I'm tired of seeing these fools' drawers. She chuckled at my reaction thus beginning spirited and enlightening discussion on the state of our youth. Her insights were so full of wisdom and socioeconomic theories I felt like I was chatting with one of my former Hampton professors.

I turned to look down the street & my extra long chariot was about a block away. As people gathered closer to the bus stop sign to line up to board the bus, I stood up & offered to help her get on the bus with her bags.

"Oh no honey! I'm just sitting here at the bus stop until the shelter lets me back in this evening. Maybe I'll go to the park in a little while. Have a blessed day" she said with one of the most beautiful genuine smiles I'd ever seen. She returned to repacking her bags & that's when I saw the myriad of bags she had stuffed all around her.

All I could say back was "oh". What else could I say? Wallet was empty so I had no money to offer nor could I wave an Oprah wand to place this lady in permanent housing so she wouldn't have to sit at a bus stop to pass the time away.

I dipped my metrocard & actually got a seat on the bus. I watched this woman repack her bags & wondered how the hell did she get here.

She must have sensed me staring because she looked up smiled & waved as if she were sending her child off to school. I laughed at the thought & waved back. And smiled.

-- Sent from my Palm Prē


rashad said...

Very sweet...
But are you sure this wasn't a HU cafeteria worker? I recognize some of the slang...

Chubbs said...

lol @ Rashad. I get the feeling some bag ladies don't mind their "plight" so much...and you gave her respect and an ear--probably meant a lot more to her than pocket change.

Redbonegirl97 said...

It's sad but that's the reality everywhere. I had a friend graduate with his masters and a week later he was staying in a shelter in NY. He was there for a about 2 weeks before a mutual friend caught wind and invited him to her spot.