Goodness & luck

Meetings ran late, dying to get home. 

Spy the bus out the window and decide to make a run for it – jump puddles, slip in mud, laugh maniacally and catch your bag in the door just in time. 

Invigorated, reach for your phone. No. Phone. 

Did You leave it on the desk? No, checked the bus app on the way down the hall. 

Did You drop in your bag? Coat? Between the seats?

No. No. No. 

In slow motion and retrospect I see it bounce out my back pocket as I over-correct from a would-be mudslide. It’s in a dark patch of grass, 3 city blocks back and counting. 

I get off at the next stop and harried-mom-walk back, retracing my steps as I get near. I pray to the apple-eyed gods it didn’t land in a puddle. 

Here it lay. Face down. An inch or two from the curb. On dry grass, I think, it would have bounced. 

It has begun to rain heavily. I wipe the phone off as best as I can and store it away. At least the screen looked dry. 

There is nothing to do but wait for the next bus. 

The rain turns to sleet. Headlights blur past. 

A line of other passengers files in behind me. I can feel the rain in my scalp now.

And then, out of the blue, a meek young man offers me half his umbrella. 

He is shy and awkward, trying to make small talk in a language not his own. To a woman he doesn’t know who looks like wet dog and beams like an idiot child. 

The bus comes. He makes the slightest of bows and goes back to his spot in line — too polite even to cut off the couple of people who had arrived between me and him. 

And I am now safe and dry, next to a window fogged to gray, and full of love for a world full of strangers and kindness and rain, and the kind of clumsiness that lets in magic (but hardly ever breaks stuff). 

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