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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bus Notes

A little while ago, I recorded a conversation between a pretty Lebanese woman and a middle-aged man. I had not seen they together for a while. This morning on the 8:25 bus I saw them sitting together again, him leaning in, still captivated by her words. Alas, I sat too far and could not hear anything. In the morning light, he looked older than I had remembered. It confirmed my suspicion that he was dying to court her---Maybe he is courting her. Is she interested in reciprocating? Who knows. A woman's heart is deeper than the sea, right? :)

When I got on the bus it was quite full. I had to sit right next to a moderately handsome white man with a chiseled face. The bus driver, a small Asian man in his 50s who vaguely reminded me of someone in Hong Kong movies, seriously cranked up the heat. So the man next to me took off his coat, revealing thin but not scrawny arms in a blue sweater. He was slightly on the tall side and dressed a little better than the average American men but not as dressy as European ones. His hair and eyes were both very dark, but his skin was quite fair, leading me to suspect a Black Irish origin rather than Latin roots. He wore a grave expression and read Business Week all the way, throwing not a glance in my direction.

I took out my Kindle and continued reading "The Problem of the Thor Bridge." With downcast eyes I could see my seatmate's right hand and wrist. They were large and bony with, as expected, strands of dark hair poking out out the cuff. His knuckles had been scratched, I noticed, although the wounds were superficial and had begun to heal. All four knuckles! My curiosity was kindled. Did he punch someone? Common sense laughed at the thought and noted that the scrapes were more likely due to chores around the house --- plumbing, carpentry, etc., but I was itching to ask him bluntly, "Were you in a bar fight or something?" He did have testosterone-fueled facial features, I thought. Perhaps his true nature is crazier than the somber expression reveals. But I digress.

In the end common sense won out and I kept my mouth shut for the entire ride. I did not ask where he got his knuckles scraped.

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