In cougar? moi? I described a very unpleasant bus ride, but today I'm happy to report a thoroughly enjoyable one.
When a shabbily dressed man sat down at the other end of the 'seniors and disabled' bench and hung a plastic bag of clothes on the rail above his head, I feared the worst.
I was knitting, so kept my eyes on the needles in an effort to avoid any kind of contact. Nevertheless he started asking me about what kind of fabric I was making. He said he was an artist and was interested in all kinds of crafts. I responded tersely that it was nylon, and he asked whether he could feel it. Uh-oh! The "Never talk to strangers!" alarms were ringing loud and clear.
Imagine my relief when his opening gambit led to a veritable symposium on fiber arts rather than an attempt at unwanted touching and feeling. He had thought it was mohair, you see, but then noticed the sheen. He asked what it was going to be and laughed when I said "probably a shrug," as he thought I was making a joke about a combination between a shawl and a rug. I explained that it was a loose, bolero-length sweater that a person "shrugged" her shoulders into, and our conversation was off and running.
Lonely, but not a Lothario. After we finished talking about the price, availability, and applications of different kinds of yarn, he told me he lived in Montebello and sold his artwork at a stall on the Venice Boardwalk He's been accepted at the Cordon Bleu in Pasadena and hopes to move to Monterey Park to cut down on travel time. His car broke down in North Carolina and he left it there. Until he makes it big as a chef or an artist, he'll continue to support himself as a security guard, and his plastic bag of clothes was, in fact, his uniform.
Vaya con dios!