There were two deadheads on the bus yesterday morning, at least two that had pins on their hats to prove it.
I was reading a book on my early commute when my attention was drawn to the young girl who was sitting in a front seat, chatting with the driver the entire ride about hair salons.
I first noticed the girl because she was wearing ski pants. She was kicking her foot subconsciously, and her pants made a swishing sound that made me look up. I was trying to determine if there was a lift ticket attached to her pants when it dawned on me that her feet weren’t touching the ground.
“She must be really short,” I thought, as I watched her swing her feet about freely, and I looked at the profile of the guy sitting across from her to compare. Not only did his feet touch the floor, but his legs formed a perfect 90 degree angle that he could have balanced a dinner plate on.
“I was going to that school,” the little-limbed girl told the driver as my eyes darted back to her, “but had to stop when my daughter was born four years ago.”
“Huh. She’s a mother,” I thought.
“But I’m only 17,” the girl continued, “so I hope to get back in the program soon.”
I scanned her face for evidence of age, but couldn’t find any. She could have said she was 17 or 34, and I would have believed it either way.
I imagined her riding around town on the bus while pregnant at age 13, and looked back at the man across from her. His back was now to me and I could see he was wearing a hat with the familiar Sancho’s Broken Arrow logo on it. Not far from the logo was a Steal Your Face pin.
I got slightly excited.
“Should I say something to him?” I wondered, (after all, we both had deadhead pins on our hats,) but I managed to hold it in.
The bus arrived at my transfer stop and I walked past the tiny girl and the deadhead guy to exit. At the same moment I tried to get off the bus a young woman carrying two small hula hoops tried to get on.
“Sorry!” she said, and made room for me to squeeze by.
“Nice hoops!” I said, and broke into a smile.
It seemed like a grateful way to start to the day.