After my highly successful run as a model, I caught the bus home. I opened the door for an old woman and later moved over to make room for her when she came in my direction. (My hair was a bright beacon that beckoned.) I couldn't help but pat her hand as she settled into the seat. She looks at me.
"I am eighty-four."
She reached into her pocket and pulled out candies and pushed them into my hand.
She turned to offer candy to the women seated around us, waving her arms and murmuring staccato somethings, possibly in another language.
The women behind us. "What?"
I had to interpret. "She wants to give you candy."
One of the women politely said no, thank you. "I don't eat candy. Only chocolate."
"I am eighty-four," said the old woman. "Eighty-four. Eighty-four."
We rode in silence; I put my out out to hold her at the sharp corners; she pushed more sweets into my plastic bag. The bus rumbled to stop and as I stepped down, I saw her change seats, shuffling to the front to speak to find an old acquaintance. You don't need language to make friends. And when I got home, I shared my sweets with pappa and read a letter from Natalie that had just arrived in the mail. Everyone ought to know such times.