There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Monday, April 16, 2007

Carpe diem

My cell phone alarm went off. Time to catch the bus. I gathered my stuff and walked out the front door.

As I walked toward the bus stop I could see someone else was already waiting. In fact, two someone elses. For my stop, situated as it is in a suburban neighborhood of single-family ranch-style homes, this was something of note.

I recognized the Sacramento State student who often rides the bus with me. The other person was a young woman who was standing with her back to me as she tied a sweater around her waist. With that done, she moved on to the elaborate machinations needed to accommodate a ponytail when wearing a ball cap.

As she finished attaching the hat adjustment straps under her ponytail she turned and flashed me a big smile and gave me a cheerful "Hi."

I gave her an equally cheerful "Hi" back, but I must have looked puzzled.

"I saw your shadow," she explained.

"Ah," I said, "I never was very good at sneaking up on people."

I looked at my cell phone to check the time and when I looked up the two were engaged in a young-and-in-love embrace. This was not your been-married-for-17-years goodbye peck.

Eventually, they parted. As the young woman walked off, they said their goodbyes.

"Your last class is 6 tonight?" the young man asked.

The woman was at the corner and turned. "No, I'm off today."

"Oh, that's right," he said.

She rounded the corner and was walking down the street. "I'm staying home today," she said. She smiled.

I give the guy credit. He stayed with me and waited for the bus. When it arrived he boarded the bus and rode all the way to school.

Being young is so wasted on the young. Carpe diem.

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