Columbus Day


Columbus Day

Agitated. The man keeps looking up from his seat. Nervously wondering when the bus will come.

Am I late? Did I miss it?

A glance at the other people sitting a few glass boxes down tells him he hasn't.

Why are there so few people here?
He counts them now, 1,2, 4, 5 people besides himself wait for Monday's beginning ride to work. A final solace before condemning themselves back to busyness. Some of them would consider it a job. Some of them a career.

Word choice aside, the bus is late.

When it does show up it's 15 minutes late and he's 3 quarters done with the second half of his bagel. Stuffing it back into the brown Dunkin Donuts bag he wrestles himself into line with the other passengers. Only hitting one wall of the see through bus stop wall as he fumbles out. Loosely holding onto the brown paper bag with a Boston Creme Donut, neon orange beverage tucked under the same arm and umbrella in the other. I hope it's not Columbus day. The thoughts begin to bubble up. Uncertainty, there are so few people at the bus stop, maybe that's why. Worry. What if I don't have to work today and I go in?

Thinking about how he wouldn't have another bus to take until noon, hesitation sinks in while the line gets shorter. He knows he should ask the bus driver, or someone, after all, bus drivers always have so many answers and interesting stories.

But he won't ask. He already knows that. There are people behind him and he doesn't want to be the one who holds up the line. Especially if it is Columbus day, then he'd have to get off the bus too; and there are people behind him, one has their entire body on the step below his, the other their foot on the first step.

Sitting down in defeat on the bus, he decides that even if it is Columbus day and he doesn't have to work. He'll go anyway, find a coffee shop to sit in and read. It wouldn't be so bad. Besides, a day out and about might be fun.

His phone buzzes. Sliding open the phone a text message pops up: "Hey just say you sitting at the bus stop, I would have honked but it's too early for that" Smiling, he seizes his chance. Replying to the message and slipping in the question he dared not ask out loud. Is it Columbus day?

A few moments later a response comes back. His friend doesn't know either. Patiently, he responds that he doesn't have to work that day, knowing his friend will pick up the hint.

Sure enough, another message informs him that it's not until the 14th.

Thank God.

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