When? he asked. When does middle age end and old age begin?

"When" he asked, " when does middle age end and old age begin?"

It took awhile to recover from his question.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ancient History: Beyond the Hedge; Gallant


My hero
I was first to the bus stop. In time to see the butt end of the bus fading away. I closed my umbrella and stepped into the empty shelter. Moments later Cynthia stepped into the shelter after peering up the road into the headlights and drizzle.

"We missed it" I said as she removed her plastic rain hat and smoothed her hair. I moved over indicating the bench but she shook her head.

Nadia rounded the corner and nodded to me as she reached to hug her neighbour. I faded away into the drizzle and headlights as they talked about Nadia's twin teens and Cynthia's trip home, to the Caribbean.

A man with a heavy leather brief case peeked into the shelter from under a plaid golf umbrella. We began to rearrange ourselves but he shook his head and reaching inside placed his brief case on the floor away from the puddles. As the sky lightened he stood outside, shifting his weight from foot to foot. I wondered about his choice of foot wear for such a wet morning. His shoes were a woven leather and seemed out of synch with his conservative business clothing.

The headlights of the bus became visable and I judged the severity of the rainfall against the inconvenience of having a dripping umbrella on a crowded bus and kept my umbrella closed. Nadia stepped out of the shelter. The gentleman put his umbrella over her head but she stepped out from under it. Undeterred, he turned to Cynthia who took his arm. He helped her up the single stair onto the bus. I stepped forward towards the but in the now pouring rain. He turned back for me, picking up his brief case as he did. We walked across the sidewalk together, under the shelter of his umbrella, and I mounted the bus ahead of him.

I felt the glow of my smile at his chivalry long after the raindrops had dried.

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