I’d like to say that I gave up a prime seat on the bus this morning but, alas, there were barely any places to stand by the time the 24A got to my stop.
Soon after I’d “excuse me’d” my way to the middle, a mom and her young son boarded the bus and inched next to me. This little guy was probably about six and he wore a red knitted cap and wire-rimmed glasses.
As more people got on, everyone packed in as tightly as possible. I figured it must be a little scary for the boy as everyone towered over him. I had visions of his glasses getting crushed in the press of people.
I was feeling a little claustrophobic myself, just thinking about it so I positioned myself in front of him and moved back a little to give him some breathing room. (It looked as though his mom was doing the same thing on the opposite side).
At any other time of day, this would not have been difficult, but at rush hour every inch of territory on a bus headed to the subway is prime real estate. Commuters need to possess an acute sense of balance or martial-arts skills to survive this ride.
Surprisingly, no one gave me any dirty looks, but I had to struggle to maintain my balance against the huge backpack on the student behind me. Every time the bus lurched I narrowly missed a body slam from this thing (I think the girl was bringing her anvil collection for show and tell). And one person actually poked me in the back but I didn’t budge.
I don’t know if the little guy or his mom even knew what I was trying to do. But that’s okay. His glasses didn’t get crushed and neither did he — not on my bus, anyway ….