Submitted by megan on Sat, 04/21/2007 - 12:53
I'm on the 18, heading out to Vanier for my bass lesson. A youngish guy gets on about 5 minutes after me. There's nothing particularly noteworthy about him, and if what happened below hadn't happened, I wouldn't be able to tell you where he was sitting, or that his hair was dark brown and shaggy curly messy, or that he was wearing a white tshirt, or that he had a broad face and was just starting to grow in his sideburns.
I notice him when he gets on only because of motion sickness. If at all possible, I face forward on busses. And I don't read. If at all possible, I keep myself from even reading over other people's shoulders, though that is harder than you might think.
Instead, I daydream. I do scheduling and make lists in my head. I think about kissing. I think about fucking. I worry at work problems or writing problems, or get my blog brain on. I look at people.
I'm doing my thing, pretty lost in thought, when I feel a tap on my shoulder about 15 minutes into the trip. I'm startled, and whip my head around, face neutral but ready to jump into a smile or frown depending on what's behind me.
What's one row behind me and across the aisle is that nice young man. Holding a something out to me with a kindly but sheepish look on his face. He's proffering a napkin, waving it gently in my direction.
My face decides on smile. Creepy guys don't generally wave napkins at you. I smile at the napkin. I smile at him. But it's a confused smile.
He looks at my nose, he looks at my confused smile, he says "Oh, uh, no. Nevermind." Retracts his hand and stares, red-faced, at the napkin balled up in his lap.
I continue to smile confusedly, but back at the front of the bus. And then it hits me.
He's been looking at my profile. And I bet all he's been able to see for the past 10 minutes is the sun glinting off a certain something shiny hanging from my nose. He's probably been thinking "Does she have a really bad cold? Man, that poor woman. Why doesn't she just use her wrist? Doesn't she have a tissue? If you're going to have a cold that bad, you should probably carry tissue around with you. But maybe she did, and then she used it all, and now she's sitting there, worried that people are staring at her. And they are! I am! Why won't she just do something for godsake? Anything. Wait, maybe I have... oh yes, good, I do still have one. I'll just tap her on the shoulder. Oh. Shit."