Monday, December 13, 2010

Meeting strangers

I rode the bus home for lunch today, and at the stop I kept catching the eye (and vice versa) of a strange looking girl with long dreadlocks and very sculptural clothing.  As we were waiting for the bus, she told me she liked my dress (new b-day dress) and I said I liked her "whole thing", and then blurted, "you look like a plant".  I meant this in a genuinely good way, and she said she liked looking like a dryad.  I am sometimes wary of hippie-looking folk, only because I've had some bad times with trust fund kids and earthy con-men.  My wariness is also provoked by up-to-11 sincerity and earnestness, non-confrontational body language coupled with almost menacing eye-contact.  I'm the kind of person likely to get caught in a streetside scam in the city, catch myself at the last minute and then beat myself up for assuming the worst in people.  The bus I ride home is also often filled with immature young adults in Spencer's tshirts who say things like "gay" and "retarded" really loud and make me feel misanthropic.  I was hoping this was not one of those people in disguise as a tree-person.

Anyhow, as soon as we sat on the bus, she sat in the seat across the aisle and introduced herself.  My "female intuition" didn't pick up anything terrible, and we got into conversation.  Maybe it's birthday mirth, but I was definitely more game for talking to strangers on the bus.  She shook my hand, said she'd just moved down here from a few hours away and works in a store that I frequent very often.  She sews and said the last town she lived in had "a lot of sad people" in it.  If I hadn't been on a tight schedule and meeting the husband, I would have probably jaunted off with her and given her a tour of the city.  We both got out at the same stop and I gave her directions to the library, and she said she'd see me around.

In the middle of my meal, I realized why I was acting pretty much contrary to my usual manner towards strangers on the bus-- I was going to be one very soon.  I hope that when I see a lady that looks cool, and it seems ok to say hi, I may make a friend.  To be so new in town, riding the bus to get a feel for it, must be very exciting but also tiring and a little scary.  I'm glad I got to be a part of her day.

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