I was on my way back from somewhere late at night. A party, the library, the darkroom, some sh/tty corner of New Brunswick. I can’t remember. I hadn’t been on a date, that I know. I wasn’t dating anyone.
I was entertaining late night calls from a cross country crush, however. A sort of crush. Someone’s company I had enjoyed. We never kissed, never held hands, not even close. Right now, I’ll leave the details out.
It was complicated, those days before cell phones. I would huddle in the kitchen whispering to this late night caller. The household telephone was immediately outside my roommate’s flimsy door. He liked to sleep. I liked boys. I liked boys very much.
I got sick shortly after meeting this fellow. Oddly, my late night caller’s mother got sick, too. And oddly, she had a similar health problem as mine. And just like me, her issue was a surprise and just like me she was waiting and watching. I never found out what happened to her.
So, anyway, I’m on the bus late. No date. Just phone calls.
On the bus:
Me and my usual get up: all black plus cane.
The driver careening from stop to stop.
Two college guys.
All illuminated by the dirt grey overhead fluorescent lights.
I stumbled to the first seat I could reach as the driver took off. I sat exactly across from two college boys. Typically college boys. Hey, typical college boys, you were not too nice to a girl in black with a puffy, broken out steroid face and cane.
The boys glanced up and smirked. I felt it to my core. I felt exactly the opposite of “hot chic with cane”. I was the f/cked up looking girl on the bus all alone.