The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Waiting on the 13A

A woman with a long, swinging skirt walks with two heaps of lettuce across her arm as though she’s carrying bouquets of flowers, like a runner-up beauty queen making off with the roses, at least. Though I am standing and waiting on a bus, I pull out my notebook to try and catch her on paper. As I write, a little girl with red-framed glasses holds her mother’s hand. The girl gazes over at me, pushing up her glasses on her nose. I also wore glasses at that age. Mom usually had me take mine off for photos, so I can’t prove the glasses, but I can remember them.

Their bus nears before mine, and the girl turns her full attention to my hastily moving pen once more. She stops, scrunches her face like someone at a class reunion, trying to place a possible neighbor from English class. She tucks her chin and follows her mother, but she turns quickly to meet my eyes, as I look up to the doors as they close. She seems unsure, and it seems to me that she is wondering whether she should wave to me as the bus rolls away. I raise my left hand with my pen as she goes. I hope she will write one day. It has been a joy for me so far.

–Vienna, Austria

scan-5

I was already writing stories at this age, but I probably can’t see a thing in this photo. Mom had my glasses. 🙂

 

15 comments on “Waiting on the 13A

  1. Darlene
    September 12, 2016

    I have worn glasses since I was 8 or 9. They never leave my face except when I sleep. They are the first thing I reach for when I wake up. You look so cute in the picture, like an aspiring writer.

    • mintjoanne
      September 12, 2016

      this is exactly how my life is.

      • thenicethingaboutstrangers
        September 13, 2016

        We should be grateful that our eyesight can be corrected! I would hate to always have to stay home with fuzzy things… 🙂
        Paige

      • mintjoanne
        September 13, 2016

        yeah! thanks to the opticians.

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      September 13, 2016

      Darlene, I had an eye doctor tell me I read too much and that was what did it to my eyes. I would do it all again! 😀 And thank you. I have the exact same smile today.
      Paige

  2. This is a sweet post. I think that we have created children that because of safety are sometimes reluctant to engage in conversations or interactions with other adults they don’t know. Stranger danger and such. However, in the safety of her mother’s presence, it is good that she can acknowledge you and you can communicate with her with gestures and looks. These are the universal moments that cross all cultures. You got it!

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      September 13, 2016

      Thank you! I’m always hesitant to engage children very much, but I thought I shouldn’t be a rude writer woman if she remembers me one day. 🙂 I am smiling essentially all the time, but the wave was just a reaction.
      Paige

  3. joannerambling
    September 12, 2016

    I never wore glasses, I do now for reading and now have them hanging around my neck so I don’t have to go looking for them, I guess your mum had a reason for having you take your glasses off for photos but I don’t see the point they were part of you and no harm in having them on.

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      September 13, 2016

      Joanne, I think she wanted to see more of my face. They are VERY big frames, I have confirmed.:)
      Have a nice week–
      Paige

  4. Pratshuk
    September 13, 2016

    Very good idea to write this kind of little experiences, which we all are going through every day.
    Wonderful to pen down them as a collection.

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      September 13, 2016

      Thank you! I have always had a tendency to take these notes, and I suppose now I am putting them to use. 🙂
      Thanks–
      Paige

  5. bykabitablog
    September 13, 2016

    as was reading at beginning I was wondering how the story will end. Your writing is so visual that I can imagine how the girl gazed at you 🙂

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      September 13, 2016

      Thank you, Kabita! 🙂 It is sometimes very odd to be noticed when we don’t expect it. I know that writing in public often makes my neighbors curious. At least she didn’t try to look for my shoulder. 🙂
      Paige

  6. sweetexpt
    September 18, 2016

    Very lovely experience in Austria, Paige!

  7. sweetexp
    September 18, 2016

    Lovely experience in Austria! I truly hope to visit there one day Paige. Absolutely adorable picture too.

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This entry was posted on September 12, 2016 by in Austria, Travel, Writing.

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