I boarded a 47 this morning. I took a seat in the back. which is something I don’t usually do on the 47 in the morning. (I don’t know why.)
At the Olive Way stop, a man, a young woman carrying a folded-up stroller, and a child got on. The young woman and the child took seats in the back seats, next to me. The man took one of the sideways seats in the back. I assumed the three of them were together.
The child immediately turned backwards in the seat and began talking excitedly about the “strings” (meaning the ropes on the trolley poles) he could see through the back window. I glanced over. The young woman smiled a kind of smile that said, “Sorry for the disturbance.” I smiled back to say, “It’s all right.”
As the bus continued on, the body language – or, actually, the lack of body language – between the young woman and the man told me that I’d been wrong about them being together.
After the bus turned onto Pine Street, the young woman extended a pack of gum to the man. The man took a piece of gum and thanked her. I wondered if maybe they were together.
Then I heard her say, “Would you like a piece of gum?” I looked over. The young woman was offering me a piece of gum. I didn’t actually want one, but I took a piece to be polite, and I thanked her.
I was back to thinking the young woman and the man were not together. Maybe she was just someone who liked to give gum to strangers. Or, maybe the man and I received gum in return for being nice in some way.
This is what I enjoy about commuting by public transit. There’s always another adventure. (I know several people who will give that same reason for not riding public transit.)