Next stop California: Sun-tanned abs, athletic thighs.

The sun was shining warm through the windows, making me sleepy. I watched the people getting on and off the bus, trying to stay awake. The boy in the blue shirt and flip-flops got on at Sacramento. He carried himself with back straight, shoulders down like a person used to lifting weights, or back massages. His light brown hair fell across his ears and eyelids. He was beautiful in a high school crush sort of way.

The bus was half empty, at that middle point where every row had at least one person in it. He walked past several empty seats and slipped into the seat beside me.

“You mind?” he smiled. It was a rhetorical question.

He started a conversation somehow, a feat in and of itself, as I’m not really talkative-especially when half asleep on a bus. I was laughing at something although I’m not sure what. He complimented me on being easy to talk to. This time I turned to examine him. I could tell his tan didn’t end at his shoulders, he mentioned playing volleyball. He asked me if I played, and I laughed.

“I’m not exactly the team sport type” I said.

“You must be a dancer” he said with conviction. I admitted that I did love to dance, while hastening to say I wasn’t ‘a dancer’ or anything, just enjoyed it.

“A friend of mine is having a party Friday” he smiled. “You should come, it would give you a chance to meet some people our age” he added.

I had mentioned being new to the area, and staying with two dear friends, although both being in their fifties didn’t make the social transition across the country very easy. I smiled back, and took the piece of paper on which he had written his number and the address of the party. As he left I shook my head in disbelief. California was turning out even better than I thought.

Then I saw it. On the back of the piece of paper he had given me was a kind of logo “M” bleeding off into a pair of feathery wings. Beside it was written:

"He is waiting to carry you back home. Will you come?"

Next stop California: Welcome to the New Age.

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