All this past week, illness kept me laid up at home. But on my one foray outside
to trudge a gauntlet of doctors' offices and x-ray facilities, the
grace of the city found me on the B68 bus.
The Graces were disguised as septugenarian women in the seat behind me. One
was recounting to the other the exact details--down to the long low gold velour
couches--of a Halloween visit she'd made exactly 61 years ago. Enthralled by
their capacity for memory, I couldn't help but break the city's cardinal rule:
I made eye contact with a stranger.
And all the way from King's Highway through Midwood and into Ditmas Park, we
had a wonderful conversation. They'd both been "career girls," and
we talked about the publishing business, about memory, about making one's own
way in the world, and about those wonderful back-in-style low couches.
For eighty blocks I forgot to cough. Graces, or angels? And what else might
the city have to offer me, say, on today's walk?