Bus Romance?

1 Mar

by Fred Nikkl

Here comes the bus, I hear it turning the corner at Southport. It pulls up in front of me and I swing my cane out and tap the front of the bus. The door is open so I step up onto the first step and then up the rest. My fare card is in my hand as I reach out for the fare box. As I slide my card through the card reader I say hello to the driver and get a grunt in reply. Oh well, maybe he’s having a bad day too. I find the first seat behind the driver and sit down.  At least the air is working on the bus on this hot, sticky day.

The bus is pretty empty as this is the beginning of the line. It starts filling up as we get to Lakeview High School. I lean a little forward so my shirt is away from the back of the seat to help circulate some cool air. My right hand is holding my cane and my left hand is on my knee. The little finger is on the left side of my knee and the middle three fingers are over the front of my knee with my thumb on the right side of my knee. The bus is getting more crowded. People are starting to stand in the aisles. Then I feel some cloth brush across the back of my left hand and up to my wrist. Then I feel bare skin against my little finger and my thumb. I freeze. What is happening? That felt like a woman’s skirt brushing across my hand, it can’t be shorts as there isn’t any material touching the fingers over the top of my knee. Does this woman know what she is doing? Is this just an innocent act on her part? Is she trying to tell me something? How should I react?  If she has just moved close to me to make room for other passengers then any move on my part will probably cause her to scream. Why would any woman be interested in an old fat blind guy? What to do? I raise my head as if to look at her but she doesn’t respond. Wait, maybe her legs are pressing harder on my fingers. Is this a signal? I open my mouth and close it again because I can’t think of anything to say.

Then as quick as it started, her legs move away and the feel of her skirt is gone. I guess it was nothing, or was it something and I failed the test?  For years now, I have wondered about that encounter. What was really happening?  Was it all my imagination? I don’t know but it’s fun to think about what might have happened if I had responded differently.  It’s something to dream about during those long lonely nights I spend by myself.

Sometimes imagination is better than the real thing.

Fred Nickl, Sr. is 69 years old and has fun writing.  e lost his sight when he was a young adult but has never let that stop him from being a good dad, grandfather, friend, advocate for the blind and generally nice guy.  Blindness has also never stopped his love for adventure, including dabbling in writing.  His previously posted story on Vision Through Words called Hope will be appearing on the Magnets and Ladders website for writers with disabilities


3 Responses to “Bus Romance?”

  1. Donna W. Hill March 2, 2013 at 11:46 AM #

    Well written & interesting. Sorry if you received more than one of these. WP’s comment form seems different every time. Today, the submit button didn’t work (or seem to) in IE, and Firefox carries on while I’m writing.

    • visionthroughwords March 2, 2013 at 4:44 PM #

      Thank you for the positive response. Sorry about the problems with WordPress – we’ve been dealing with it ourselves. Seems like every time we log in, things are different!

  2. Jeff Flodin March 4, 2013 at 7:21 AM #

    Thanks, Fred, for this amusing story. It’s great to hear how social awkwardness can grow into wonder. In my mind, all women (except those who sound like Thelma Ritter) look good in that size six little black dress. In my mind, at least, this is how the beauty of the world persists.

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