Today there was a little girl at the bus stop running around in the mud. She says to me “these are the fastest boots in the world!”
“Really?” I say.
“Yup! I used to have brown boots, but they had a hole in them. It was small though so you couldn’t see it, but then I had to get new boots — see my boots are blue now — because of the snow.” Now she had stopped running around and was standing in place, but swinging her entire upper body around and around back and forth as fast as she could manage without falling over.
“The snow made you feet cold did it?”
“Yeah. So I have blue boots.” She had seen that they had mud all over them by this point, and says, “they’re all ruined!” She didn’t sound upset at all. Her tone suggested more that she thought that was a nifty thing that had happened.
“No, they’re still good,” I reassure her.
She stops, slips the boots of her feet, and starts banging them on the pavement to shake the mud loose. The consequences of standing on the muddy pavement in her sock feet didn’t seem to bother her at all.
“Look at this!” she says once she has the boots back on, holding up a little piece of plastic. It’s shaped like a cloud, with rainbow coloured writing on it. It’s mostly french, but one bit of english said “1st place”.
“Wow,” I say, impressed for her. “Did you win this?”
“No, my friend gave it to me.” She sticks it back in her pocket and starts running around in circles again. “I ate at a restaurant today. Will you sit with me on the bus?”
“Sure,” I say, laughing, just as the bus pulls up to the curb.
Though her father and brother were there with her, they sit at the back, while the girl takes a spot near the middle. “I’m sitting here!” she tells me triumphantly.
“Well then I guess I’ll sit here.” I put my bag down and sit next to her. Noticing the name written on her bookbag, I ask “Is that your name? Sophia?”
“I turn six in the summer!”
I take that to be a yes. This is pretty much the standard of how our conversation will go throughout the bus ride.
“People get on the bus and get off the bus. See! That lady just got on. She’ll get off soon. My stop is… um…. I think we past it. No, it’s… sometimes the busdriver doesn’t know where it is, which is why you have to pull that thing to tell him to stop. My stop is on Wellington. Where do you get off?”
“At the very last stop,” I tell her.
“Really? Wow. You’ll get off last. You’ll still be here when I get off then! I can show you where I live. I used to have a ducky hat with things that went like this and stuck here.”
“I used to have a hat like that when I was your age too.”
“About five, yeah.”
“Do you have pictures?”
“My mom probably does.”
“Do you live with your mom?”
“No, she lives in New Brunswick and I live here in Montreal.”
“I live in Montreal too. You know what you should do?”
“When you go home, ask your mom if she has pictures of you when you were five. Then, bring them next time. Cause I want to see!” She has a huge grin on her face here as if she’s not only come up with a fun thing to do but was also being very clever about it. “Oh! It’s here!”
She jumped up off the bench and joined up with her Dad and brother again, heading out the door. “Bye!” she shouts from across the bus, waving at me.
I like taking the bus.