Morning. I'm sitting on the bus, in one of this disabled seats, because my balance is poor, my knees are in bad shape, and most of the other seats are full.
A man, holding a cane and getting ready to exit the bus, turns to me and says, "You should be ashamed!"
"Why?" I ask.
"Because I'm 67 and disabled and here you are, sitting in one of these seats!" He's in the doorway now.
"I'm disabled too, thank you!" I yell as he exits.
(Why did I say, "Thank you?")
Afternoon. I'm on the subway, sitting in a window seat with my bag in the aisle seat next to me. A man on a cell phone is standing in the aisle, hovering. I gesture to my stuff, ask if he wants to sit, and he nods. I clear the space and he sits.
I put my headphones on, start playing Heart's Greatest Hits on my iPod, partly because some kids are playing loud music and dancing for spare change. A few minutes later, my seatmate taps me and asks, "Where are you getting off the train?"
I hate when men I don't know ask me that.
"Why do you ask?" I say, wary.
"Oh! Because I wanted to take a little nap, but I want to be able to let you out, and I'm wondering how much time I have," he says, chuckling.
I laugh, relieved. "Berkeley. You've got a little time."
I let him sleep, listening to "Magic Man," "Crazy On You," "Dreamboat Annie" and "Barracuda," and wake him gently when the train reaches my stop.