This morning I apparently woke up on the right side of the bed because I was running ahead of time. If you know me, you know that this is not a normal thing. (Granted, bus life is quickly pulling me into the monotonous routine of showing up at x time and leaving by y in order to catch my ride.) So, I headed toward the Front Range for work and was still forty minutes early for my shift. I decided to stop off at Whole Foods to grab a Bhakti Chai with almond milk. Afterwards I walked to the bus stop outside of the store, arriving at 8:20 am or so, and began waiting.
I walked up on an older woman who was pacing with a hop in her step and singing to herself…
It must have been 20 degrees or so with snow. The snow came down pretty heavily and coated the ground. The flakes were fluffy and big – big enough to land on and glisten off of a, say… female mustache. ::Cough:: Her mustache ::Couch::
She and I got to talking and after maybe 20 minutes or so I realized I had spent most of our conversation making eye contact with her mustache. I was intrigued. I wondered if she knew she had a noticeable, coarsely-textured mustache. I wondered if anyone had ever told her it was there. I wondered if she could not know it was there.
I was pretty certain her upper lip was warmer than mine as we both shivered in the frozen weather.
As my intrigue caused me to observe, I noticed she had only a blue fleece on, tennis shoes – that I learned she paid $7.50 for at Goodwill, and a basic, thin pair of gloves. It was twenty degrees out and the wind chill made it feel half of that. Granted, I had on my ski jacket (which I already noted in a previous post is meant for skiing, not standing still), a pair of cheap sweatpants on over my bare legs (because I had a dress on underneath), and my ski gloves on (which are also meant for skiing.) I was by no means satisfied by any limb with my winter attire, but this woman was surely colder than I was. I felt… rich, comparably… in what I was wearing.
I’ve been noticing since taking public transportation that I don’t like to feel rich. I don’t like to feel like I don’t outwardly blend in with the people on the bus. I don’t want to bring up the fact that we sold both of our cars because on a whim someone wanted to buy them, and we thought it’d be fun to try public transportation. (Granted, there’s more to that, but in short… that’s kind of how the story goes.) I don’t like to mention the ownership of our beautiful home, or all of the awesome vacations we’ve taken in three short years. I’d rather bring up to people that I have holes in my boots, and I can’t afford new ones… though it’s not that I can’t afford them, it’s that I hate the idea of spending $100+ on something so unnecessary. Anyway, I guess Bear and I are so completely blessed, and I’m not sure if it’s a blow to the face of someone else if they know that. And it’s embarrassing to talk about, maybe… even though I’m grateful to God for his provisions.
As I may have led on already, I began wondering if Blue might be homeless. She talked about how she sometimes went into local stores to ask to use the phone to call the bus company if it was running later than usual. She brought up how the music played on public transportation was out dated, as if she spent years listening to it. She told me about the free concerts held at the local university that she attended regularly. There was a possibility she was homeless. Whether she was or not, of course, I scolded myself for even noticing her mustache. After all, tending to a mustache is frivolous and reeks of first world habit.
Cowboy, my other, more appropriately mustached friend, showed up at some point. The three of us discussed how poorly public transportation operates on the weekends, as it was forty minutes late or so by that time. Soon after, Blue said goodbye and ran to the other side of the street to catch that bus so she could dethaw. Ten minutes later, the bus we had been waiting for actually came!
It was nice to be dethawing as well, and I was extremely grateful that I put sweatpants on over my dress that morning. On the ride over, I learned that Cowboy works just down the street from me. We chatted until my stop and I shouted a friendly, “Maybe I’ll see ya around!”
And that was that. People come into our lives, and as quickly as they came, they are gone.