Response to a Cranky Bus Passenger

Dear Diary:

On a sunny weekday afternoon, I found myself on an uptown-bound M104. It was filled to the brim with the usual suspects for that time of day — seniors, nannies and freelancers.

Around 72nd Street, a grandmother with grandson in hand boarded our vehicle. As he seemed intimidated by the crowd, she softly encouraged the little boy to walk to the back of the bus, offering sweet words in Russian. Together, they spotted an open seat next to a graying, sour-looking woman wearing a long pink dress accessorized with an array of plastic costume jewelry.

“Don’t put the child next to me,” she snapped. Everyone on the bus took notice of her remark and cautiously lifted their eyes from their cellphones.

“Why, what’s wrong?” said the grandmother. “Are you contagious?”

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