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What you don't know may bother you.

On the bus the other day, there was an older Filipino lady clad in varying shades of red, from hair to handbag, except for powder blue shirt sleeves peeking out of her crimson jacket. Seated next to her was an asian college student drowsing off, half hunched over his backpack. This inadvertent couple made a pleasing picture, so I began to sketch them.

On the other side of the Asian kid, nearer to me, there was an uninteresting, white, middle-aged business-man. He kept shifting around and looking at me uncomfortably. I didn't say anything, but I wanted to tell him, "Relax, this isn't about you." Maybe I should have. Of course, I doubt I could have kept myself from adding, "You're boring," which is why I kept my mouth shut.

My other thought was to show him the drawing, but I wasn't sure he'd understand. There had to be a more reassuring course of action. After all, not talking is often a poor way to communicate with strangers. Unfortunately, nothing else occurred to me. Besides, my attention was mostly elsewhere.

Poor guy. The least I could have done for him would have been to justify his fears.


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