Thanksgiving weekend, 2008
A Firefly-themed coffee shop
Greenwood, Seattle, Washington
It is my right as an older sister to tease my brother about girls, should he be so unfortunate to mention one he fancies.
“Would you hit that, Aaron?”
“I am not an assailant.”
March 17, 2006
245 bus to Crossroads
Sitting across from me is a man in his late thirties with a round, boyish face, short, thin brown hair, and a pathetic attempt at a beard. Glasses frames purchased perhaps in 1987 and a Microsoft lanyard around his neck, his slacks navy blue and his shoes nondescript work boots. Yet his shirt is teal-green crushed velvet with shiny mother-of-pearl buttons, and his jacket of patchwork leather.
He’s reading a hardcover British edition of Harry Potter 7, and has headphones in his ears.
What in God’s name might he be listening to?
Late July, 2009
The bus stop at Queen Anne & Mercer
Sitting on a bench waiting for the bus, canvas tote bag in her lap, knees and feet together, she is a petite, feminine sort of woman. Tidy sandals, knee-length denim pencil skirt, crocheted, cream-colored sweater, she buttons it with dainty fingers, her movements bird-like quick. Hair in a casual bob, glasses fashionable but understated, delicate ivory skin; and there, in the center of her face, quite the largest nose I have ever seen on a woman.
June 23, 2009
An old man and a young woman
Each trying to give each other a seat on the bus
She, deferring to his age
And he, to his chivalry.
May 27, 2008
No one wants to be awake at 4:30am. Dragging my suitcase out of a dark house while Corey, Tod, and the baby sleep inside, I am greeted by the cab driver with a “Good morning to ya.” A middle-aged, middle-thick black man, he’s waiting with the trunk open and takes my suitcase from me while I get settled in the back.
He asks where I’m flying today, and I say Seattle. His girlfriend is from Seattle, he says: she flew here to Richmond for work and he was her first cab driver, right from the airport. “‘Course, this is 19 years ago,” he explains. “I looked in that mirror and saw her face, I said, ‘That’s my woman.’”
He asks after my trip, I say it was my first time in Virginia. What did I think of Richmond? It’s nice, I tell him.
“I’ll say one thing. You know how to lay out some respect…you’ll get it back in Richmond.”
Over the twenty-minute drive, he tells me about the police chief resigning; about his three daughters by three different women that he’s put through college; about all his favorite shortcuts and how the highways are laid out; how he’s been driving for 22 years and figures he’s the best cab driver in Virginia, and in the top ten in all the world. He hands me his card, for next time I’m in town.
“I’m WJ Bey, the one and only. You find another one, he’s a phony.”