Friday, September 4, 2015

Strangers you meet

[A bus stand in Abergavenny, Wales]

The bus we want is scheduled to arrive in 40 minutes. We wait right at the bay, seated on the pavement. A pudgy guy in a tracksuit joins us. He has an Aldi's plastic bag.

Pudgy pulls his phone out and checks his messages and social media, then plugs in his earbuds. The he rummages through his bag, and winds up emptying it. I can see a 1.5-L bottle of Coca Cola, more bags of crisps/potato chips than he needs, and some household miscellany.

Pudgy puts the bigger, heavier items back in the bag first, then the smaller, lighter ones. He pulls them out again. He repacks the bag. And again. I guess he's trying to pack it efficiently, but you can only do so much with a 5-L plastic bag.

Suddenly, one the two old ladies who had been sitting on a low wall across the street from us strides over. Pudgy doesn't even notice her, only looking up when she says:

"I've come to save the day, love!"

She hands him another plastic bag! A bigger and sturdier-looking one!

Pudgy looks up, and a big, happy smile spreads across his goofy face.

"Aw, thank you, darlin'!" he says. His heroine smiles back and rejoins her friend.

*Pronounced "abergavoni".

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