Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
On the 92A bus, a gruff Austrian soldier keeps his pack on as he watches intently for his stop. Two elementary-aged boys on board spot an opportunity and sneak up next to the soldier. They connect a loop on his backpack to a plastic strap at the empty wheelchair-accessible seat. The boys await the soldier’s stop with ill-concealed glee. They ride beyond their exit in anticipation, whispering about riding the line back again. The soldier stays oblivious, staring out the window, and when he rings for his stop, the boys can barely contain themselves. As the doors open, the soldier is shocked. He’s stuck, moving forward but being held back.
I reach over and free him–no Samaritan since I’d seen what the kids were up to and smirked along with them. At the next block, the boys fly out the doors in triumph. An old man commiserates with me about harmless children and we permit each other full, open, public laughter. The others in the bus stay quiet and serious, but we keep laughing until the last stop. Three years later, I recall the boys and laugh even now.