Mom talked me into it. OK? That is the first, and most honest answer
to what happened and how I ended up on the stupid bus in the first place. She and some friends had booked this senior citizen
bus trip up to Orlando
to see the latest addition to Disney
. Mom really can't drive much anymore and she was prepared to go with friends 'cept one of them had some back problems and the trip was nonrefundable
so she thought I should go.
I don't like big public places, you know that, right? 10 thousand sweaty tourists and all that concrete YUCK. I don't really go to malls except at the holidays. But Mom started with the usual guilt trip express-about being left by her friends, about how we never travel now that Dad is gone (she never says dead she always says gone, like he left town for a while. I need to leave town for a while, but whatever).
So, we are on this bus for what is supposed to be three hours but turns into five because of stops at do-dad shoppes and various other detours. When we finally pull in to the hotel I notice that the driver is not the usual 70 pound overweight heavy smoker. He is about my age, probably younger. He must be younger because he has clean hair and sharp features. All good looking guys are younger than me now, because I am officially an old maid now that I am 31 and never married.
He looks past the 20 silver haired ladies demanding that he get their luggage First! and stares at me; through me . In the lobby, later, he walks up to me and hands me a diet Coke, moist from the humidity (he has a Dew).
You look like you could use this-hey, did you get demoted or something?
Yes, I said, or No, or thanks. I rarely find the right words to say in the right order. It is most likely I said all of those words as one sentence. He smiles and and tosses his head back-cocky. I hate that. But, of course, I also like that. Jeez. What do I say now? No matter, he keeps at it.
Maybe you are helping someone-your Grandmother, maybe? Cool. That's nice. Do you eat Chinese? There's a place within walking-could you go later?
He's talking to me like we conversed for hours. As if we are friends now and we have gotten to know each other prior to these request. Where does he get off? But that's not what I said of course. What I said was this:
I don't ..well, Maybe, My Mom, I mean, yeah, maybe--can you wait around for an answer or..I mean you seem in a hurry..sorry...I mean...
and what he said, which was the last straw if you will, or at least the thing that broke my will was:
Oh, it's fine, I can wait. I waited four hours to talk to you and find out what was behind those glasses. I can wait a little longer. Finish your soda, I'll be here.