Sunday, August 28, 2011

BUS STORY # 251 (I Remember)

She looks older than she is. Not uncommon among pre-teen/early teen girls these days. She wears her black hair long and straight, but skewed to one side so it covers the left side of her face.

I can’t tell you what color top or what kind of shoes she was wearing. I never got past the orange, ruffly, short short skirt and the long, long legs.

It’s the legs that give her away. They’re still coltish, not quite to wherever they’re going yet. I think back to my own coltish days when I would have found those legs disturbingly perfect. It’s probably to the benefit of my grade point average the skirts were considerably longer those days.

A few stops later, I watch a young guy and an older guy do the you-first dance. Age goes before beauty. The older guy has a pass he’s holding out to the driver. When he doesn’t move, I know something isn’t right with the pass.

He’s standing there listening to the driver, pass still thrust out. Longish gray hair, neatly combed back, trim gray beard. Neatly pressed blue oxford cloth shirt, tails out, over blue jeans. And something I haven’t seen in a long time: a fanny pack. It’s oversized, and he wears it in front. It’s in his way when he goes looking for his wallet.

Behind him the kid is waiting. He has a Harry Potter look about him which I suspect is no longer considered cool among kids his age. He looks to the back of the bus and smiles. I realize he is smiling at the girl in the short, short skirt who’s sitting in the back row. She’s smiling back. Ah, so...

The older guy is now fishing in his fanny pack. The younger guy looks mildly frustrated by this unexpected delay. No good deed goes unpunished. He gives her a “what-can-I-do” look. He’s too cool to shrug.

Eventually, the older guy finds his wallet, puts in his money, gets his pass, and heads for a seat. The kid is through in a flash. I love how he comes down the aisle: trying not to look like the hurry he’s in.

He gets to the back, spins, and drops into the seat next to her. They laugh, lean in towards one another, but they don’t touch. He starts talking a mile a minute about some video game, and I just laugh to myself and remember.

The photo at the top of this story is titled “Girl on tram - Hiroshima,” © All Rights Reserved, and is posted with the kind permission of Byron Edwards. You can see this and all Bryron Edward’s photos on Flickr at:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

sweet story, made me smile

10:07 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

For whatever reason (My wife says it's the hurricane), Blogger is deleting rather than publishing comments. Here are two that should have posted along with the 10:07 Anonymous post:

1) From Brenda at 08:08: the benefit of my grade point average...LOVE it. Kids just want to grow up too fast. If only they knew...

2) from bean counter at 18:55: "She's got legs, she knows how to use them..."

7:51 PM  
Blogger Busboy said...

@ Anonymous: Thank you.

@ Brenda: I’m thinking of Chuck Berry’s lyrics to “Sweet Little Sixteen”:

"Sweet Little Sixteen
She's got the grown up blues
Tight dresses and lipstick
She's sportin' high heel shoes
Oh, but tomorrow morning
She'll have to change her trend
And be sweet sixteen
And back in class again."

So I guess the desire to be -- or at least, to look -- older hasn’t changed. Still, the girl on the bus was a few years short of 16. And “back in class” attire these days is something different than what Chuck was writing about over half a century ago.

@ bean counter: I think you are entirely correct about her knowing how to use them. And as long as she’s using them on Harry Potter there, she’s probably not in over her head. But I’m thinking about another set of lyrics by Steve Earle about knowing how to use a pistol, but being woefully too immature to actually employ one without getting into serious trouble:

"About the time that Daddy left to fight the big war
I saw my first pistol in the general store
In the general store, when I was thirteen
Thought it was the finest thing I ever had seen
So I asked if I could have one someday when I grew up
Mama dropped a dozen eggs, she really blew up
She really blew up and I didn’t understand
Mama said the pistol is the devil’s right hand."

As you probably can surmise, the singer ignores his mama’s advice and gets himself into more trouble than he could possibly have imagined.

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been enjoying your stories and have really appreciated your comments on mine (VERY much appreciated). This one made me smile in that knowing way. Nicely done, my bus brother.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Thank you for your kind words. If I've made you smile, I've returned the favor. I always look forward to your posts.

10:51 PM  

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