At the next stop, a nicely dressed lady with some expensive-looking, almost knee-high, black boots with gold buckles on them took the aisle-facing seats right in front of me—the ones that you have to give up, as prescribed by law, for "the elderly or handicapped" if asked to do so.
It's a two-person seat, and she took the right-hand seat, which means proximity-wise, she was close enough to me that some of our personal space overlapped.
She said to the lady sitting across the aisle from us, "You know which stop to get off for the Social Security office?"
"I'd just take it down to Moore Square," the lady replied.
She made some comment about how far she might have to walk in those boots she was wearing, which were clearly not sensible walking shoes.
I could tell that this woman was an extrovert, which meant it was just a matter of time before she'd say something to me—especially since our grills were all up in each other's.
"Oh," she uttered, and turned to me. "May I borrow your phone?"
I really don't like loaning my phone to strangers, as I always wonder if it's some kind of scam to save my number on the phone of the person being called, but I extended it to her.
Instead of taking it, she rattled off a number so fast that there was no way I could have dialed it even if I'd wanted to, so I extended my phone to her further saying, "Go ahead and dial it yourself."
She got the area code in, which we have to dial for local calls now, and then she messed up on the next number. "I can't ever dial without making a mistake," she said handing it back to me. "You dial it."
"Say it slowly, then," I said.
After entering it, I hit the "Call" button, and handed it back to her.
"Harry? Will you sign me out? I forgot to sign out. Yeah, I have to run to the Social Security office so that I can keep on..."
I didn't catch the end of the sentence.
"Yeah, thank you. I won't bug you again. Sorry. I just forgot to sign out."
She hung up and handed me the phone saying, "I just quit carryin' my phone with me when I run errands, 'cause by the time I get to where I'm going and back, my family be callin' me with, 'Pick up this,' 'I need that,' and 'While you out, can you...'"
"I hear ya," I said.
She made some comment about her age, and I said, "I'm older than you, girl." I thought it was okay to use the familiar greeting, since we'd now not only shared personal space, but a personal communications device as well.
She looked at me incredulously. As if I would lie about being older than someone! So I said, "54."
She cocked her head a little, and then said, "Well, I'm right on your heels."
Giving her the once-over to let her know I thought she was looking good for her age, I said, "Well, you got some fierce boots, that's for sure."
She laughed and then said, "Can I use your phone again for another quick call?"
"I'm sorry, but this is my stop," I said indicating the next one and intimating there wasn't time for her to make another call on my phone.
As I walked from the bus stop to my office building, I day-dreamed about running into her again tomorrow morning on the bus.
"Can I use your phone for a quick call?" she would ask.
To which I'd reply, "Oh, I'm sorry. I've stopped carryin' my phone on the bus, because people who have stopped carryin' their phone on the bus keep asking to borrow mine."