Sunday, March 10, 2013

BUS STORY # 331 (Cold Hands, Warm Heart)

I’m waiting for my transfer bus when I realize I overestimated the warmth of this late January day back at the house.

I’d been seduced by several windless days of lows in the 40s. This morning, I headed out in just a sweater and a windbreaker. The bus arrived in a couple of minutes; all I’d noticed was it was a little breezy.

It’s been ten minutes now at my connecting stop, plenty long enough to make me miss my hat and gloves and muffler. I’m trying to distract myself with a magazine.

A woman joins me on the bench. After a couple more minutes, she asks me aren’t I cold?

Yes I am, I tell her.

She says I don’t look like I feel cold. It made her wonder because she’s cold.

I assure her I am cold, and I wish I had my hat and gloves.

She shows me her mittens, black knit things. Then she unzips her jacket to show me the fleece inside. She told me she started out without her sweater, but a couple of steps out her door and she went back inside for it. She shows me the pink and white striped sweater poking out beneath the fleece jacket.

She says it's warmer in Peralta.* That’s where she’s from. She came up here to live with a friend of hers, but her friend has no car, and she needs to take the bus to the doctor.

This makes me remember a time last autumn, when I drove down to Peralta to have dinner with a former co-worker who’d moved to England a year earlier, and was back home visiting family. We had a lovely and lively evening at the home of his cousin and her family.

I am still entertaining that pleasant, warming memory when the bus arrives.

We board, taking separate seats across the aisle from one another.

She turns to look at me and catches me blowing into my cupped hands. She quickly strips off a glove and thrusts it towards me.

“Want to borrow my gloves?”

I laugh, and tell her no, thank you, I’m fine.

But her simple, spontaneous generosity touches and warms me.

I remember the welcoming hospitality my old co-worker’s family showed me last autumn, and I think the woman must be right: it is warmer in Peralta.


*Peralta is a small community some 20 miles south of Albuquerque and east of I-25 and the Rio Grande.


The photo at the top of this story is titled Yolanda Shares Her Gloves, © All Rights Reserved, by BLTadventure, and is posted here by permission. You can see all BLTadventure's photos on Flickr here. You can see BLTadventure’s design website here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely story. Thanks.

7:52 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Thank you,

8:33 AM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

I've been reading you for years, and I think this may be my favorite story so far. <3

9:12 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Thank you, Tiffany, for your kind words.

8:30 PM  
Blogger Top-of-the-Arch said...

Trust all is well with you and your family. Thanks for sharing "heart-warming" stories. Sorry for not being responsive with comments.
Keep up the good work,
PS: Thanks for the offer but I will have to respectfully decline to collaborate a bus-story at this time. Perhaps it could be later down the road .....

3:39 PM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Thanks, TOTA. Always nice to hear from you. I hope you will write that story some time in the future -- and when you do, let me know. It's a "heart-warming" story, too.

5:10 PM  

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