If Day or Night

A short piece I submitted to two places open to brief slices of life, but had no takers, so now it has a home right here.

After a nonstop bus missed by one minute in Boston, and a replacement local route that brought me through much of New England for almost seven hours, I arrived at Port Authority Bus Terminal just past 1am when the station closes and most of the terminal completely shuts down. There I was, in need of a restroom before catching the subway home. I noticed people being led downstairs on a stairway just outside the terminal but inside its doors and decided to follow.

I remembered from a previous trip that Greyhound was down there, and that there was likely to be an open bathroom available to those awaiting late night departures out of the city.

Feeling relieved after I found what I sought, a woman entering paused, blocking the restroom doorway ahead of me. She was homeless, with a small pushcart at her side. She looked up at me when I said “Excuse me, ma’am,” but instead of clearing the path, she pointed toward something and asked me if it was one AM or PM on the clock. I told her it was 1AM, and she inquired if I knew what time the station opened in the morning. “I am not sure,” I answered,  “but today is Sunday, so probably a little later than yesterday.” She thanked me and went inside as I made my way out.