as per normal, i peer through the frosty windows as i make my way down the aisle of the bus to alight. today, oliver is with him, on his shoulders; one hand balancing himself, on that cactii head, and the other, waving doggy enthusiastically in the air.
my glasses steam up slightly as i step off the bus; the air outside embraces me warmly. and he takes a step forward, grinning in acknowledgement. oliver gurgles excitedly and reaches out for me, mirroring that very same grin.
i giggle inwardly; those three look so alike -- he, oliver, and doggy.
my little hero (no, not anti-hero *grin*) gives me a sloppy greeting. i get another one from the big guy, a slightly more well-trained one, before he passes oliver over.
my usual exchange of conversation with oliver proceeds, to which he replies by repeatedly smashing doggy into my face. from the corner of my eye, he folds his arms across that chest, tapping one foot in mock impatience.
"i'm sleeeppy... reeaally sleeeppy..."
as we turn to go, oliver stretches out for him.
"weee beee weee beee..."
"come on, buddy buddy."
says he, as he lifts him back onto those shoulders. and oliver goes eagerly. the scent of his baby cologne lingers around me. for a split moment, i feel cold and empty; and envious. and then i'm left wondering, how many more can fit up there?
a reassuring rub on my neck reintroduces warmth, and oliver's screeching from above brings me back to earth. the little guy dumps doggy on my head and proceeds to catch bunches of my hair with his fat grubby fingers. i feel happy; attention-seeking freak am i. i look to my anti-hero. and he gives an understanding grin.
"man, i can't wait to get back."
as is always. but neither can i.
the lights in the macdonalds' across the road flickers once, and then goes out.