A few weeks ago I was out
walking the dog, nothing unusual there,
I try to do it most days…
And a woman stopped to pat the dog, to remark
that the dog was cute, and funny, and friendly – also
not that unusual – he is all of those things (most
of the time).
I find myself talking with strangers a lot
more – something I can blame on the dog, or
old age I spose…
A guy – connected to this woman – said hello to me, and
then added, “look, I need to apologise to you…”
(‘Here we go’, I sorta thought…)
“Many years ago now”, he said, “you were on the bus,
and I told you off for having music blasting out
from your phone so the whole bus could hear, but
you didn’t know, you weren’t doing it on purpose”.
This had to be at least five years ago, probably seven…
But he was right. And I remembered it.
“You’re right!” I followed up. “I remember that!”
There was a slight pause and then I had to follow
up on my follow up:
“You don’t need to apologise. But thanks. I guess”.
The next day I saw him at the bus-stop and he waved. And smiled.
A new friend.
I had stopped riding the bus shortly after that incident – though it was in no
way connected to that event. I just enjoy
the walk. And – then I was also ‘working from home’ more often
But the way this guy beamed, all smiles, all waves,
it was like he’d spent a portion of each day – over the last
five (or seven) years – thinking he’d been a little harsh.
His cold reprimand had banished me from the bus, the way he
(perhaps) figured it.
I wish more people could be like
(I wish I was).
For a start, it’s unlikely I’d apologise to someone
for something so minor, so trivial, so long ago (in the
scheme of it all…)
Had he been having pangs of regret? Bad days even?
He saw me with my bag on – walking, happily. And it
was like he could breathe easy.
A dog will bring that out in people.
I’m new to being a dog-owner.
It’s so far working out pretty well.