If you really do intend to read this, I would recommend a comfortable seat, a light snack, and a warm drink. Good luck.
I have just had the nicest weekend, and it isn't OVER yet. Friday night, my final shift of the week, the weather was fine, dry, and certainly not cold, although within a few minutes of my clocking off and starting the short walk to my bus-stop the rain had started to fall, only a light drizzle to begin with changing to steady rain that would be on for most of the day. We've had warm sunshine for a while so I suppose we could do with, I wasn't complaining, I just wanted to get home, and as soon as I GOT home I'd be getting ready to go out again. Saturday is my shopping day.
As I huddled up in a corner of the bus-stop shelter trying to keep myself from getting soaked by the rain a woman, wearing a purple parka with hood up and denims approached and so, there was her sitting at one end of the shelter, and me the other. This "two strangers sitting as far apart as space will allow" , only in England or some far flung war-torn country could it happen. The thought amused me. We both sat, silent for a while and then she stood up and turned to study the time-table. " the next one's the thirty eight then." Said she, trying to make sense of the columns of numbers on the paper.
"Yeah, shouldn't be long now, it comes at about twenty two." In this case, about twenty to eleven. "
"Okay." She sat back down again.
"All you need to remember is that the thirty eight comes at thirty eight minutes past the hour."
She turned to face me and she was smiling and I think she really WAS smiling, " oh right, thanks". She checked her watch, " shouldn't be long now then."
Nah, shouldn't think so." Just being there, chatting with her, was.....Easy.
I even engaged in some banter with her. She kept looking at her watch, "That won't make it come any sooner" I joked.
She pushed back her hood and patted down her hair. WOW! Had I made an impression or is that just a woman thing? She'd certainly made an impression with me. The softness of her features, ageing but not old, mid-fifties I'd venture and so full of joy. Just a lovely lovely woman. Easy to be with.
Well, anyway, we chatted some, passed the time of day, and the bus rolled in.
We were both standing ready to board as the bus ground to a halt.
" After you she said, gesticulating, half raising her arm.
"No you go" I replied, rummaging through pockets for my weekly bus-pass. " I've got a card here somewhere. No way was I getting on first, but what if I had?
If I HAD boarded the bus first, found a seat and sat down. Where would SHE have sat? She did seem a friendly sort and so, she got on first, she entered the lower deck and I went upstairs, sat down, and pulled out the newspaper from my back-pack. What a lovely lovely woman.
I've just thought, oh dear, I hope it wasn't so. Maybe she wanted me to go first so that I wouldn't go and sit next to her. Never in a million years Mrs. If she was worried about that she needn't have been.
And my chatting with strangers didn't end there. I made my way to the front of the bus in readiness to alight, and found the driver, a young woman, howling with laughter. The traffic had slowed, there were traffic lights ahead, and our speed had been reduced to a stop/start crawl.
"He thinks I'm going to hit him."
She was in fits.
"Well? when look in your rear view mirror and see one of these things sitting on your back bumper I suppose it can be a bit intimidating." I opined.
"Ha ha ha, yes but..."
"Looking in the mirror you probably seem a lot closer than you really are."
The bus stopped, I got off, and headed to Asda's but I would need to get some cash from the hole in the wall. This one wasn't so joyful.
There are two cash-machines outside the Asda store and as I approached there was a man at one and a woman at the other. I chose to stand behind the woman, at a respectable distance. Within seconds of my arrival she turned to me, lifting her arms outstretched in frustration.
"Look! They're not working."
I could see the list of options on the screens.
"I touch the screen."
She'd selected an option.
"And nothing .Ephing useless ***** female genitalia was mentioned at this point."
I just smiled, as sympathetically I could and walked up the high street my bank. I don't know she banks with but for me it wasn't a problem.
And basically, that was it, my Saturday in a nutshell.
MY WEEKEND, PART TWO. SUNDAY:
Time for a short recess. Make another sandwich perhaps, A fresh pot of tea.
For some time now, I've been thinking about the Sunday bus-service but haven't bothered to check out the times but today I looked. Please bear in mind that I'm talking about Sunday morning here. I like a few jars on a Saturday evening, I'm no sot, I don't get rowdy or reckless, it's just my way of letting go. A cleansing if you will. Clearing the mind and relaxing this poor old bod.It works for me and the "mind-clearing" is carried on into the Sunday morning.
I could, it would seem, if I really wanted to, if I was willing to get my sorry old arse into gear, earlier than I like to and be at the bus-stop in town for eleven am. I just missed it today by the way, and not hang around in Aldi's, thus giving me time to catch the bus going back into town, I could save myself a lot of walking but I live my whole working week by time-tables. On a Sunday... Who needs it?
If ever there is anything weighing heavy on my mind, detritus from the passed week, a decision to be mulled over and arrived at, my gentle stroll to Aldi's has it covered and this morning I couldn't have asked for better weather.
I walked through town, the silence, and the stillness, never ceases to amaze me, I could see some bikes parked up along the High street, real easy riders, big bikes with ape-hangers, happy days I thought wistfully,and as I got close to where they were standing, a group of ageing bikers, both men and women immaculately dressed, in black leathers of course, exited a small cafe' and congregated where the bikes were standing.
It made me think.
Back in the day, when I first moved to this town, there was a very popular pub in the middle of town, it was recently converted into flats , where bikers gathered of a night time, people would have to weave their way through a maze of bikes on what was quite a size-able forecourt to enter the place, and it occurred to me, as rowdy and un-inviting as those guys might have seemed, dirty greasy sons of bitches one might have surmised, I can't recall ever seeing a punch-up there. Image is everything eh? So now, when they've grown up, had their kids and paid the mortgages, and into their second marriage probably, they go on runs and meet up at quiet small town cafe's for breakfast. I love that thought but I mustn't idle, there's more.
When I got to the bus-stop, for the bus that I had just missed it would seem, and had had no intention of catching anyway, I could see a book on the seat. There was a piece of paper sticking out of it. A bookmark perhaps? Had someone left it there by mistake? I wondered. It was quite a thick book, paperback, " The Other Woman" in white letters emblazoned across a gold heart motif with a pink background. I pulled out the piece of paper for any clue of who might have left it and to my surprise someone had left a note to the finder.
It read: "Book gift, underlined. For anyone who would like a book to read. Please pass it on when you have finished. I hope you enjoy it. I did."
I couldn't believe it. Such a delightful find but I shall play devil's advocate here.
A really nice gesture or fly-tipping? Nice fly-tipping perhaps. And should I read it and pass it on? Might I be accused of fly-tipping?
I've had such a nice weekend, EASY.
I coulda woulda shoulda, gone over this a zillion times, editing and cutting, then reworking what I'd cut and putting it back in there, but to be honest, I've had enough of it now.
I'm reading the book and I'm sure that I shall finish but, when I'm done with it, what would YOU do? Add a comment to the note and put it back where I found it? With a request to pass it on?