I stepped outside onto the back deck of my parent’s house, not wearing shoes. I walked to the edge of the deck and looked over the railing. I saw my Mother standing in my neighbor’s yard, bent over – clipping ivy from the fence.
“Can you drive me to the bus in ten minutes?” I asked her.
She stood up, startled, almost losing her balance.
“We can drive you right into the city,” she told me.
“No, it’s ok,” I told her. “I’m meeting Kristen for a play and have to catch the bus,” I told her.
“Sure. Now?” she asked.
“In ten minutes,” I said.
I went inside. I ate some no-longer-warm chickpeas in tin foil on the stove top and heated and ate a small bowl of brown rice.
I ran upstairs, unplugged my laptop, and put the charger and laptop in my backpack.
I ran downstairs to the kitchen, checked my phone, and saw the bus was “three minutes” from the stop. I live a five-minute drive from the stop. Catching that bus was not likely. The bus after that one was “twenty-five minutes” away. I wanted to make the “three minute away” bus. I didn’t want to be late for the 7:30pm show.
“Where are the keys?” my mother asked. I felt my jacket pocket but did not feel car keys. I heard keys jingle from the other room, so knew she found them.
“I’ll be in the car,” she said, walking out the front door.
I poured cereal into a Ziploc bag for a snack and put it in my coat pocket. I zippered my backpack, put on my black boots, and grabbed my teal running sneakers from under the dining room chair.
I ran out the door.
“Can we go to the stop after our normal stop?” I asked. “The bus is arriving now at the normal stop, so we have to go to the next one.”
“Sure,” she said.
“And can we go fast?”
She started driving. She approached a green light with the countdown numbers at “5”- 5-4-3…
“Make this light,” I encouraged her.
She went through the green light. I looked to my right and saw the bus pulling up at my normal bus stop.
“There’s the bus,” I told her. Keep driving.
“So, we’re in front of the bus now?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said.
The bus stopped at a red light behind us, we continued driving. I knew I would make the bus at the next stop.
What play are you seeing?” she asked.
“Sweeney Todd,” I said.
“On Broadway?” she asked.
“No. Barrow Street Theater. The West Village,” I said.
“I love plays in small theaters,” she said. “Remember years ago we saw “The Fantasticks,” she said.
“Here,” I said, pointing to the bus stop.
She pulled over. I kissed her cheek, grabbed my backpack, picked up my sneakers, and jumped out of the car.
“Do you need a bag for the sneakers?”
“No,” I said. “Love you. Thank you.”
I closed the door and jogged to the bus stop pole.
“Bye,” she said through the open car window.
She drove away.
The bus pulled up six seconds later.
I got on the bus and headed into the city.