Well Suited For Friendship

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 18, 2019

(I’m on the bus to work, and I have a crochet project out. As it’s rush hour, the bus is close to full. Two young men in suits get on and sit next to me. One watches me work for a bit.)

Suit Guy: “Wow, you’re making it look easy!”

Me: “After a bit, it’s more muscle memory than anything. I’ve been crocheting for four years now, so I’d hope I’ve got something down by now!”

(We talk for a bit about various art-related hobbies. I mention doing some cosplay work while living on the west coast.)

Suit Guy: “Oh! I’m from Idaho! What brings you out here?”

Me: “My grandma wanted me to live closer to her, and offered to pay for the move. What about you?”

(He suddenly looks nervous. The guy with him just kind of nods. He turns so I can see his name tag, where I can read, “Latter-Day Saints.”)

Me: “Oh! Okay! That makes sense.”

Suit Guy: “Sorry, we get a lot of people who get loud and in our faces about religion. It’s… frustrating after a while.”

(I turn my bag to show them the pride patch I’ve put on there.)

Me: “I completely understand being treated badly because of loving who you are. And you’ve given me no reason to see why I should have anything against you.”

(We ended up exchanging numbers before they got off the bus. We’ve run into each other a few more times and they’re always happy to see my current project!)

On The Midnight Train Going Anywhere

, , , , , | Right | April 9, 2019

(At the station where I work, trains stop running earlier on Saturday nights than on other days. One train line runs from the upper level of the station, and when the service has finished, we pull tapes across the escalators to stop people going up. I’ve just done this and am about to walk away when someone tries to undo the tape on the escalator.)

Me: “Excuse me, sir, that area is closed. There are no more trains from those platforms.”

Customer: “Yes, there are. We’ve got tickets for the 23:15 train to [City about two hours away].”

Me: “I’m afraid there isn’t a 23:15, sir. The last train to [City] left about ten minutes ago.”

(The customer pulls his phone out of his pocket and thrusts it in my face.)

Customer: *with a very smug smile* “Well, here’s my confirmation! Two tickets on the 23:15 to [City]!”

Me: “You’re quite right, sir; that is what it says. The 23:15 to [City]… on Friday. Today is Saturday.”

(There is a moment’s silence while the customer and his partner digest this information.)

Customer’s Partner: “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE, YOU IDIOT?! HOW HAVE YOU BOOKED FOR THE WRONG DAY?! WHAT ABOUT THE HOTEL?! NOT THAT THAT MATTERS NOW THAT WE CAN’T GET THERE!”

(I decide to withdraw and let them sort it out between themselves. About ten minutes later, the customer approaches me.)

Customer: “Um… excuse me? I’m really sorry about earlier. Er… are there any hotels nearby?”

“Nice Guys” Usually Aren’t

, , , , , , | Romantic | April 7, 2019

(Parking around the university is scarce and expensive, but there is a train that stops on campus that has free parking lots farther away. After a long day of classes, I head home. I have a really heavy backpack, so I’m relieved to see there is one seat left. As it takes a few minutes to get to my stop, I pull out a book to try and squeeze in a few more pages. Almost as soon as I sit down, the guy sitting in the window seat next to me is suddenly looking very squirrely, and turns in his seat towards me.)

Guy: “Um, uhh…”

Me: “Oh, is this your stop?” *preparing to stand up and let him out*

Guy: “NO! Don’t get up! Uh, I mean, you’re fine.”

Me: “Oh, all right, then.” *looks back down at my book*

Guy: “Um, hey, whatcha reading?”

Me: *after briefly explaining the synopsis* “If you like science fiction, it’s a really good one so far. I can’t put it down.”

(The guy just gives me a blank look and grunts, so I just smile and return to reading. I don’t even make it through another sentence before he pipes up again.)

Guy: “You’re really pretty.”

(I chuckle uncomfortably.)

Guy: “And you chose to sit next to me, out of all the other seats you could have taken… I can’t believe this is happening to me. I finally have a girlfriend!”

(Thankfully, just then, my stop is coming up, so I snatch up my backpack and quickly get up.)

Me: “Er, there actually weren’t any other seats… Anyway, have a nice day.”

(The guy, who up until now has been very soft-spoken, is suddenly so loud that it startles the other passengers.)

Guy: “Oh. OH. OH, so you’re just leaving, then?!”

Me: “Well, this is where I left my car, so… yeah.”

Guy: *overly sarcastic tone* “WHATEVER. I see how it is. You’re just like every other c*** looking for a free hand out, expecting guys to just give you seats because of your rack.”

Me: “Yeah, I’m pretty sure that seat belongs to the city. And I bought a ticket.”

(The guy opened his mouth to say something else, but the doors opened and I got out. As I walked towards the car park he stared at me out the window, glaring daggers and mouthing words, oblivious to the other passengers all turning in their seats at this spectacle. I was pretty nervous about running into him on the train again since I caught the same one every day, but luckily I never did. He probably thinks he’s a nice guy, not the reason why those red panic buttons are installed.)

Cause For Un-Pregnant Pause

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 2, 2019

(I am engrossed in my phone while riding the public ground tram when I hear the announcement that my stop is the next stop. I am sitting in a seat in the not-handicapped segment, and I gather my things to prepare for my exit. After I stand up, a lady standing nearby suddenly snaps.)

Woman: “I’m not pregnant!”

(I turned and looked and saw her glaring right at me.)

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Woman: “I don’t need a seat, so stop trying to offer one!”

Me: “I was just preparing for my stop.”

(She then reached out as if trying to grab at me, so I ducked back away, and the movement of the tram caused her to stumble, which allowed me to slip past. I might have offered help to keep her balance, but did not want more confrontation. When she stood again, she stood in front of the seat, blocking a few others, and glared at me until I exited at my stop.)

Hail To The Bus Driver, Part 7

, , , , , | Hopeless | March 16, 2019

This happened a few years ago when I was still very new in the city. We always took the same bus route to and from the city centre, and one of the bus drivers on that route was the sweetest, happiest bus driver I have ever met in my life. He would always be humming some catchy song and when, for example, a couple — like my boyfriend and me — got off the bus, he would say through the PA system something like, “Have a romantic evening, you lovely couple,” or, “Treat that pretty girl right, sir!” or, “Have a fabulous day,” and if he found out that someone had their birthday, he would definitely get the whole bus to sing “Happy Birthday.”

He would also always stop and wait if he saw someone — like me, on multiple occasions — running towards the bus stop. One time I even saw him get out of the bus to assist an elderly lady getting on the bus. He was, all in all, a wonderful person.

Unfortunately, a few years after we had already moved to another part of town, we found out that this wonderful bus driver had died. Apparently, his kindness and cheerfulness were so well known throughout the entire city that the news of his unexpected death warranted a whole article in the newspaper.

The article was titled, “Oslo’s favourite bus driver has died.” He touched many, many lives.

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