When I was getting my lunch, there was a black woman standing next to me, also waiting for the line of cars to pass so that she could cross.
People drive slower in rain – even with very minor precipitation – and their reactions are delayed too. It’s as if rain dissolves decisiveness. Especially summer rain, in a place where such a thing never happens.
The black woman was losing patience with the vehicular fossils slowly hurking and jerking past. She vocalized.
“Oh you have GOT to be kidding me! For heaven’s sakes!”
Finally she stomped up the street to get behind the line of cars. Flouncing angrily, and I’m sure glaring fiercely at each one she passed.
“I’ve had it with you lot! D’ya hear? I’ve HAD IT!!! All of you, GO HOME!!!”
I'm fairly certain that she had the word 'bitches' in the thought cloud over her head, but she was too controlled to utter it.
Besides, some of the elderly grannies might have gotten out of their cars to take issue had she said that word. None of them were in any hurry.
Earlier today on the bus I had been observing the interaction between a little girl and another passenger sitting opposite her. The girl was sharing a seat with her older brother, their mother was taking them to the Gordon J. Lau Elementary School on Clay Street.
Both children were very neat and clean, but the boy – probably seven or eight years of age – was wearing dull colours, whereas the little girl was wearing more cheerful clothes. Chinese parents often garb their little girls in bright hues. Especially if they are very young.
In addition to cartoon-butterfly hair clips keeping her bangs out of her eyes, the little tyke had on an electric pink rain slicker, and rubber boots with big brilliant flowers all over them.
She was exceedingly pleased with her footwear.
Occasionally she would extended her legs, observe her feet with pleasure, and exclaimed “happy boots!”
The white business woman opposite her smiled.
“Happy boots. I’ve got happy boots!”
She looked at the woman across from her and explained “see, they’ve got flowers – they’re happy boots!”
The woman nodded approvingly. I noticed that the little girl’s brother looked sour, perhaps he had been hearing about happy boots for several blocks already.
“Do YOU have happy boots?”
When the woman shook her head, the girl looked downcast. How sad that someone did not have happy boots!
Her sibling, on the other hand, smiled. He was utterly pleased that someone else did not possess those things either.
After a while the little girl extended her legs straight out again, singing softy to herself “happy boots, happy boots, happy boots!”
When the bus got to Powell Street, the mother and her two kids got up to get off – the school is in the middle of the block, downhill from the intersection.
As the little girl walked past the woman, she turned to her and said “ask your mommy to get you happy boots, please?”
The woman assured the little girl she would get her mom to buy her happy boots, whereupon the child gave her an absolutely radiant smile.
Her brother scowled fiercely - no happy boots for him.
The black woman who had been mouthing off at traffic didn’t have happy boots either.
On the other hand, I do have happy boots.
Imaginary, but never the less very real.
I’m totally cool with this weather.
Later I may stomp in a puddle.
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