It’s late at night and we’re driving home. I’m restless, complaining, wishing I could blink my eyes like Samantha from Bewitched and magically find myself horizontal in bed. My feet warm under the covers.
We hit a red light on Western Ave, the one that takes forever. I melodramatically roll my head against the window and sigh, and that’s when I notice her under the fluorescent trim. A heavyset woman with pink sweatpants and a dozen bags, sitting at the bus stop. She must be in her 50’s and she’s alone. Ms. Pink Pants goes through one sack, then another, then a third. Gibraltar! She pulls out a granola bar and exhales her whole long day into a bite. Her face holds traces of beauty - yes, I think she was beautiful once. The kind of young lady boys chased until their knees buckled. Now she hangs weary from exhaustion.
Someone caught her though, she’s wearing a wedding band. I imagine she’s a wife and a mother and a grandmother. I imagine she works hard to be all of those things. I look straight again because I can feel lastima fast approaching, but the f'ing light still hasn’t changed. When I turn back I recognize George Clooney next to her, his face on a poster for the new movie “Gravity.” My eyes widen and my heart widens because I know he must have an extra car he can give her. Because the gap between them is too huge, and it can’t be fair. Because he should come give her and her bags a ride home. I think, “do I know someone who knows him, so I can call and explain the situation?” I really wonder how I can pull this off.
I love her instantly, way more than Cloones. I want to wish her good luck, consider rolling down my window to tell her, but we get the green. The second before we drive off, I notice she’s wearing sandals; I hope her toes don’t get too cold. In the side mirror I watch her slowly climb onto bus 18, the driver helping her with her things. She’s smiling and thanking him, a vague reminder of the glowing girl she used to be. The door closes and they leave George’s face behind.
p.s. I love me a good bus system.