I was fortunate enough to find a bus sitting at the platform just as I climbed to the top of the escalator, and shockingly, it wasn’t overcrowded. I sat beside a young woman, who unlike most of the people on the bus, uses Dial and like me, wishes everyone else did. There was a heavy woman with a heavy upstate New York accent sitting in the very first seat talking to the bus driver, wearing her bus pass in a leather holder around her neck and resting her anti-carpal-tunnel wrapped wrists on the pullout handle of her wheeled suitcase. She could be described as nothing short of jolly. Her seafoam green knit pantsuit fluttered with her giggly laugh; the only real indication that it was her laughing, as she barely opened her mouth to do it.
I said good evening to the bus driver as I got off at my stop and walked up the ten feet to the crosswalk. Standing there was a little old lady. She must have been about four and a half feet tall, hunched over with enormous eyeglasses and a cane almost as tall as she was.
There are no buts about it. That’s one busy road that I have to cross to get from the bus stop to my apartment, and the only way to do it is to wait for a break in the traffic one way, make it to the center turn lane, and wait for a break in the other direction. It’s not an easy task. I leaned towards the old lady and laughingly cracked, “Ready to take your chances?” She started muttering to me in some language. Perhaps it was English and I just couldn’t hear or understand her, but whatever it was, it was a mystery to me. Finally, she looked up at me and asked, “You cross?” I nodded and said yes, and the next thing I know, she’s grabbed on to the strap of my shoulder bag and starts crossing the street holding on to me. I thought we might get killed, as she was moving at a top speed of about 6 inches per minute, but she never lost the vicegrip she had on my strap. We finally got to the other side, and she thanked me and said what I think was something about cooking, and I wished her a good night and went on my way.
There was a new spring in my step as I made my way home and for a minute I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then I realized that it was because I had done the most basic, classic, timeless, and all-around good deeds of all time. I had helped an old lady cross the street.