I was waiting at the bus stop when I saw two men and a woman walk my way. I moved so they could get by and the woman in the group stopped and started talking to me excitedly.
“Hi! How are you?!” she slurred, moving closer to me.
“I’m fine. Thank you.” I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I just continued to look at her, smiling while she surveyed me.
“I’m Gypsy,” she said, holding out her hand. She was a short woman with beads around her neck. She started talking about how it was her birthday, then slurred some more about the police.
“That sounds exciting,” I said.
“Exciting…” she repeated. “Do you have four quarters?”
I shook my head and said no, I didn’t have any change, which was true. Even more true is that I gave all my change to my kids who used it to play the stupid claw game at Denny’s, which we never win because that shit is rigged.
Gypsy came in for a hug, embracing my stiff frame and added, “You’re native, aren’t you?”
“Yeah,” I answered. Native Pacific Islander, but still. It wasn’t time to clarify and play a quick round of Where In The World Is Carmen San Diego. She held on for a while, then moved back with her hands still on my arms.
“Wipe your eyes,” she motioned. “You have some mascara on your face.”
“Oh thank you, sweetheart!” I answered, wiping away without checking a mirror because she was probably right. I often have eye makeup mishaps because I use enough glittery gunk to spackle a house–a girl you so fiiiine house.
She added, “You still look sexy, just check your face.” She then shook my hand again and went off to join the other two men.
And that is what this Monday has given me, an act of kindness from a stranger and me giving absolutely nothing in return because I am a terrible person who wastes money on stupid games to appease two little boys who have everything they want and would never let me know I have makeup on my face.