I’m walking along East 86th Street where the crosstown bus stops.
There are four young boys waiting, all wet, from a sudden downpour. If they didn’t have private school insignias stitched on their navy blazers, they could easily pass for urchins up to no good.
Naturally me and my umbrella that seats ten, have to stop.
“Don’t you guys travel with umbrellas?” They stare at me blankly.
“How bout if you come under here till the bus comes?” Still no response.
As I proceed to take charge the smallest one says, “I’m not allowed to talk to strangers.”
“That’s a very good rule so, just don’t to talk to me, but you’re gonna drown if you don’t get under this umbrella.”
Like a little band of brothers dressed by Brooks Brothers, they dive under, dripping all over me.
Finally after a very long five minutes, the bus pulls up. As the door open and passengers embark, I can feel these boys gunning their engines.
“Let them off,” I say, like I work for the city, “and don’t slip, take your time.”
The bus driver, clearly knowing these lads, hollers over his shoulder, “What do ya say boys to this nice lady?”
Like a soggy chorus they bellow, “Thank you.”
I smile at Mr. Julio Hernandez, nice and dry at the wheel.