On The Bus . . .

. . . with a blonde Betty Boop and the Valentine’s Day Blues.

New York goes to town in a big way for the day of love. Flowers, chocolates, red hearts, pink hearts, dining tips, make-up tips, hair styling tips. An unusually warm day in what has been a long winter it was somehow fitting that cupid had sunshine and a twinkle in his eye with which to make mischief and intrigue. Anticipation is the extra hormone in the air at this time of year.

Not a whiff of it made it on board the M31 bus which goes down York Ave and across to the West Side along 57th St. Outside of peak hours this bus is pensioners paradise. This part of town is not famous for its large population of groovers and hipsters, movers and shakers. Slow is how it operates up here and that is on a good day.

Waiting at my stop with me was a young woman with powdered face, heavy eye make-up and thick long blonde hair.  We sat near each other, on the bench seats near the back door which are in the middle of the bus. She took a call on her telephone and then the fun began.  The voice was pure Betty Boop.  It travelled up and down that bus as she struggled to get her point across over her frustration and inability to change information over the internet. And haven’t we all been there before, I thought to myself in sympathetic silence.

She pleaded “Can I speak to a supervisor? You can’t deny me my statements. I need them for the IRS. I’m the one who pays taxes. So can I change it?”  This loop continued.  And continued.

Through it all she kept her calm.  Unlike the old ladies who took exception and turned their heads in sour faced, lemon sucking indignation telling her to be quiet. So much for moral support and the sisterhood. OK so we don’t all conduct business out in public but maybe she had waited all morning at home, or indoors, wherever, for someone to return her call and push had come to shove with her having to go out and get that damned bus when of course the call was finally returned. It happens.

“Can I speak to a supervisor? I need those statements. I need to make sure my ex doesn’t pretend to be me.”

Why did she not say so in the first place, I wanted to know? The bus was filling up by this stage but still the one-sided dialogue continued.

“It is a matter of personal security and you can’t deny me my statements. Please can I change my address? My ex-husband has been in jail. Twice.”

Well, that seemed to wrap it up. How successfully I will never know. Perhaps the person on the other ended decided to refer it on to the supervisor after all.

Not sure that there is any point to this, but, if you think of one, do feel free to let me know.

A random fifteen minutes or so in this city has the potential to last so much longer and here I am, two days later, still thinking of her. So many questions to which I will never have the answers.  I did know, however, that the ex had not been jailed for murdering her but some of those old ladies on the bus?  They  certainly had murder in their eyes.

I wonder what plans, if any, she had for the big day of Valentine’s love?