Friday, November 17, 2006

Coffee and Deserted

There is this completely charming elderly couple that gets on the same bus that I do almost every morning. They get on right in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The woman is always impeccably dressed in a skirt/suit ensemble, her makeup is somewhat heavy and her hair is pouffed out in an immovable orb. The man has small squinty eyes and longish grey hair ala-Einstein, he wears a tweed coat and shuffles along behind his wife. They both smile often, but sometimes she is slightly cold, he is certainly the warm one. They seem too old to be going to work but I imagine that they volunteer at a charity to keep themselves busy and their money to good use. They are the royal couple of the M4 limited at 9:08.

She always boards the bus before him. On Monday she got onto the bus and the same bus driver as usual greeted her with a hearty good morning. The old woman remarked “you are early this morning!” and then as the woman walked to her seat the bus driver joked loudly “do you want me to stop for coffee, since we have some extra time?” The old man then sat down in his seat with a thump next to his wife and waved his hands and said “coffee is on me for everyone!” The whole front of the bus heard this and I smiled at a New York that was perhaps even too corny and sweet for a movie, but I liked it.

The following morning, the bus driver was different but the couple was there again. The old woman got on the bus and the driver abruptly closed the doors behind her and began moving. Where is he I wondered? I looked out onto the sidewalk and there he was-tweed coat, small eyes, grey hair blowing his hands up in surrendering pose. The old woman looked back at him on the sidewalk and then took her seat and starting reading The Times. The bus drove off and left him.

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