Friday was insane–500-and-counting covers, and we were short by two hosts. Managers were on a tear to make everyone tow the line. I had my PA–Performance Appraisal–in the afternoon. It was fine, but just the idea of one is nerve-wracking.
I finally headed home, walking my usual walk. The parrots were out again on their stands, kids were playing basketball, roses were colorful but fading, and previously fragrant honeysuckle was wilting.
It was 91 degrees with an equal percentage of humidity. I do love a city in summer.
I managed to get it just right timing-wise, however, to pick up my dry cleaning and still catch the bus home to my neighborhood.
An elderly couple stood in line ahead of me to catch the bus. The woman walked with a cane; her stooped-over partner had a pull cart full of groceries. I wondered how they would navigate getting on the bus.
I need not have worried, they had clearly done this before. Before I could even offer to help, both knew just where to hoist themselves while grabbing onto the door’s railing. Once on the bus, they sat contentedly, side by side.
As the bus rolled into traffic, various passengers lost themselves in their reveries. Others plugged headphones into their ears and imagined their lives as music videos.
The elderly couple just sat. Silent. Until the woman pulled out an antique silver flask, carefully unscrewed the top, and took a long swallow.
I stared. I didn’t even pretend not to.
“Better put that away,” whispered her partner, nodding toward the driver.
“Oh, well, I guess,” she replied.
I continued to stare as she took a second sip, and then she screwed the top back on and stuffed the tarnished vessel back in her bag.
It was one of those perfect moments when a preconceived perception smashes into an opposite reality.
Let the weekend begin.