Nice Lady is a daily rider on my morning bus. She, by turns, either irritates or pleases me enormously. It all depends on how tired I happen to be at 7:35am when she gets on board and sits down. If I’m in a good mood, I’m happy to be seated near Nice Lady, where I can listen to her talk to fellow passengers and offer to hold the bags of anybody who ends up having to stand in the aisle when there are no seats left (Nice Lady’s favorite thing to do, despite the fact no one ever takes her up on the offer). On mornings when I’m tired, however, I try to get a seat in the back of the bus instead, preferably next to Sullen Teenager, who is far less likely to try to engage me in conversation.
This morning, Nice Lady cracked a relatively funny joke and everybody laughed out loud, including me. Even Sullen Teenager, who is usually tuned out in the back seat with headphones blasting, cracked a little smile. Was it a joke worthy of an LOL? Probably not. However, it was one of those odd mornings when everybody on the bus was in an exceedingly and inexplicable good mood. I can never figure these mornings out — they are as likely to occur on a Monday as any other day, a day when you’d think most people would be ill-tempered. And today, we were all abounce with joy, despite the fact we were crammed to the gills with twice the usual number of passengers, due to an earlier bus that went MIA.
In the afternoons, a crammed bus is, in short, a recipe for disaster. You want to know what Road Rage is truly like? Get on my single-length afternoon bus on a rainy evening and watch the competition for Most Emotive Scowl begin. But for some reason, a crowded bus in the morning is usually no big thing. Maybe it’s because nobody is in a hurry to get to work, the way they are in the evenings to get home. Maybe it’s because we’re all fresh from our breakfasts and coffee pots, instead of exhausted from hours spent at our desks. I don’t know. All I know is that mornings on the bus like this morning always leave me slightly confused and pleased. It’s not a bad way to start a day, in other words. I don’t get it. But I think I kinda like it.
p.s. Confidential to Nice Lady: Thanks for offering to hold my bag this morning. If not for the fact it weighed about 87 pounds and I was afraid it would crush you, I would’ve taken you up on the offer, just to make your day.