I slip to the back of the bus where empty seats are usually hidden from view.
There was a young man all in black who had a paper bag sitting on the seat next to him. I stood near so that he got the hint that I wanted the seat. Something about his body language, however, made me think he wanted to speak to me. He stood a little close as I slid into the row.
I sat down and he fumbled a bit with his cup of coffee, as he tried to settle his bag on the floor.
“Here, let me hold that for you,” I had said. After a moment of hesitation, he let me take the cup while he put away his things.
“On your way to work?” he asked.
“Yes,” I replied. He seemed nice enough but something inside said not to make the effort.
“You want some?” he asked, motioning to his coffee.
Okay. That’s weird.
“No thank you, I have a bit of a cold,” I replied.
“Yeah, it’s been going around,” he answered.
After a while, he opened his bag. Out comes a hash brown in all its smelly, greasy goodness. Then a sausage-egg muffin. And as he munched on breakfast, I couldn’t help thinking he was out of resources and turned to the one thing he could actually do in order to start a conversation: eat.
I saw him steal a glance in my direction. I have no idea why but I did not return the glance and I’ve never second guessed my gut feelings; they’ve saved me every time.
So it was interesting to see the confusion and perhaps shock when I tapped him on the shoulder so that I could get out of the row and off at my stop. As if we were in a play and I jumped the gun with a line that should have been said later. I wasn’t supposed to have gotten up. I was supposed to stay until he had figured it out.
I didn’t look back at him to see a reaction. Would that have been corny? Cheesy? Just plain stupid? I don’t know. It’s just one of those things where you decide that the path can’t diverge and change here. You need to keep moving in this one direction that is not necessarily a straight line.
And as I listened to the bus roar away, I walked towards work, knowing that opportunities come and go and you do not necessarily have to take every single one.