I make my way to the upper level of the bus. I settle in by an Asian girl who is resolutely facing the window with her headphones providing a defensive barrier against the seat next to her. I pull out my book of Truman Capote stories and start to read. A couple of geezers several rows behind me are having a noisy discussion that's difficult to ignore at first, but I am quickly absorbed by Miriam and they recede into the background. "Start usin yer head, bruvva," one of them shouts suddenly and I jump and turn halfway around to face them. I face front quickly, but not before both of them have noticed me. "I fink we might be talking kinda loud," says one. "Wot, you mean that girl?" replies the other. "She's byooeeful," the first one whispers hoarsely, loud enough for me to hear. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the girl next to me lift her head off the window and grin at my burning red profile.
I get off the bus behind a young man who's whistling loudly. As we push our way through the crowd at the bus stop, he stands aside, smiles graciously and says, "After you, gorgeous." I smile back and thank him. I head for the crosswalk, but it turns out he walks much faster than I do and gets there first anyway. He presses the button for the signal and continues down the pavement without looking back or crossing the street.
Apparently, this is my day.