I’m sorry. This is sorta corny, and not even a good deed done by me – or anyone, really, just a guy doing his boring job. And maybe you can’t even picture it, but it changed lots of people’s mornings, if only for a minute.
I go to a meeting every Thursday morning downtown, and my return route home puts me on New York City’s saddest bus. Now if you’re a metropolitan person, you may have noticed that busses are sadder than subways anyway, because they are filled with people who can’t get up and down the subway stairs. So though the view is better outside, it surely is bleaker inside. But this particular bus is the M23, which means it goes across Manhattan from the Hudson to the East River. The next to last stop, where I get off, is the stop for the Veterans Hospital, and the bus is checkered with sad, battered people, physically and mentally unwell. It is often heartbreaking.
But this morning was such a pretty late spring day, and as we neared the hospital, I noticed everyone looking out the window. There was another man, also the worse for wear, sitting on a stool, selling some novelties. I saw he had three balloons, and he was waving his arm around madly: in New York, this means absolutely nothing. But then I saw what everyone was watching: he was making giant soap bubbles – that’s what he was selling, and they were huge. A dozen of them, two dozen, some more than two feet across, and all with the lovely jewel colors of an oil slick. One girl rode down the sidewalk on a bike and started poking at them as she wobbled down the street.
I told you it was corny. But for about ten seconds, I’ll bet every single person on that bus forgot how crappy life can be. And Bubble Guy didn’t even realize it.
It was nice, that’s all. So nice.
It only takes a minute to change a day.