I’m six feet and one inch in height. That’s tall for a girl. It’s tall for anyone outside the world of competitive basketball. So I’m used to sticking out, to being noticeable. I’m used to people pointing me out like I’m a sideshow attraction.
I am not used to being accidentally sat on.
But this is what happens while I’m waiting for the bus. It is one of “those” days. I’ve just been shouted at by a bus driver. I’ve gotten on the wrong bus and had to get off again, and now I’m waiting for the right bus to appear so that I won’t be late for work. I’m feeling a bit fragile, a bit sensitive. There are empty seats on the bus stop benches. Sweet! I sit down with relief.
While I’m sitting there, recovering the shattered pieces of my ego, a woman hobbles into view. She’s about middle-aged, wearing several layers of clothing, and clearly a bit mad. She has one crutch in each hand, holding them out in front of herself like dual walking sticks. A younger woman darts at her side, like an anxious hummingbird.
The woman on crutches spots the benches and, with surprising speed, heads towards the empty seat next to me. Or so I think. Next thing I know, her butt is lowering itself into my face. She is saying “No, I need a seat with the arm rest on the left! On the left!” I angle sideways, sliding myself out of her trajectory just seconds before she plops down in my seat.
I stand next to my now-occupied seat, a little startled. I feel like Anne Hathaway inThe Princess Diaries.Before the make-over. The hummingbird woman murmurs an apology over her shoulder, leaning down to help arrange the older woman in the seat. Not sure what to do, I sort of turn on the spot. A woman sitting on a nearby bench catches my eye. She saw the whole thing. I can tell, because she’s trying not to laugh. I grin back at her.
And, out of the haze of this average morning, I feel it. Transports of delight.