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At the Bus Stop

Tzipporah Wald

Why should I want to go? To trade a warm housecoat and slippers for a Shabbos suit and shoes that pinch? To wait in the cold at the bus stop for 20 minutes and then take a bus that winds dizzyingly around and around for another 20 minutes? All for the pleasure of sitting among a bunch of ladies I have absolutely nothing to say to. With nothing to look at but fancy outfits that I could never fit into and fancy cakes that I can’t even dream about eating.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

busstopWhen do I ever say a word to Mrs. Eisenstein? (Perel, I think her name is.) The bar mitzvah bochur? I wouldn’t recognize him if I passed him on the street!

On the other hand … they’re our upstairs neighbors. I remember when this kid was born. I remember the zeideh he’s named after, who used to live in their apartment. The boy’s older sisters played in our house every day, with our girls. They’re all married now, baruch Hashem …

Besides, you’re supposed to love your neighbor and rejoice in her simchahs. Well, I do really.

“Rivkeh?”

“Yeah, yeah. Of course we have to go!”

“Okay, so you should be at the bus stop by 8:15.”

Oh, sure. As if the bus ever comes on time. Elya knows as well as I do that it comes whenever it comes — whenever the mood strikes. “Take the number 10,” he advised. Like I don’t know which bus goes to Zupnik hall. “That’ll bring you right to the door.”

“Okay, thanks,” I said. 

“I’ll wait for you at the bus stop; my shiur will be over by then. Or …” he considered, “you could take the number 39. And I’d wait for you at Kikar Shabbos …” For some reason, Elya always finds discussions about buses and other such practical details fascinating. “But then you’d have to walk a little … and it’s uphill.”

Walking is a problem for me? Hills are a problem for me? I don’t eat junk. Elya doesn’t, either — except when he does. “Okay. Thank you.”

 

***

 

I checked my watch again. Eight twenty-five … Well, at least it wasn’t raining. It was pretty cold, though … A bus was coming! No, it was a number 16. That was no help.

Briiiing-briiiing. My cell phone. “Hello?”

“Hello, Rivkeh? Did the bus come?”

“No. I’m still waiting.”

“It should have come.”

Did he want me to thank him for the news bulletin? “Probably, any minute.”

“Okay. Thank you.”

Eight thirty-five. A number 10! Finally! … And only three people in line before me. … But … why was the driver looking so annoyed?

 

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