At the bus stop this afternoon I was tootling on my harmonica a bit, trying to work out how to play 'Sittin' on Top of the World', an old blues version I know with mass-whistling. While I was playing it this old, old white-haired guy with a handlebar moustache and a short ponytail came to the stop, so I soon stopped, because I don't like playing when there are random strangers around, especially when I'm just trying to figure out a tune.
A little later though, he asked me 'Were you playing on a mouth-organ just then?' and when I said yes I was, he told me how he remembered when all the kids had them, back in the 30s. 'Beautiful music!' he said, keenly. Some of them had Jew's harps too, he said, with a little twangy motion of his hand in front of his mouth in case I didn't know what he meant. He had tried it himself, in his youth, couldn't get the hang of it though.
A bus pulled up driven by a guy with a really quite spectacular beard. 'He shouldn't be driving a bus with a beard like that, should he? Can't see over the top of it, it's like a hedge!'
When my bus arrived I thought he was going to get on it, but then he didn't, so I didn't get to say goodbye properly. Maybe we'll meet again...
Usually I go to the top deck of the bus, but for some reason I didn't today, which I suppose is why I was exposed to the full rowdiness of the after-school crowd, usually contained somewhat by the geometry of the upper deck. Giggling, teasing exuberance, personalities broadcasting and clashing. I smirked a little when one of the girls asked the boy behind me (dyed-orange hair, attention-grabbing) if he was going out with the girl next to him (natural redhead, ponytails, unsuccessfully attention-avoiding), and then, when he stubbornly ignored her and kept listening to his MP3 player, asked him again MUCH LOUDER so that everyone could hear, MP3 player or no. No, he said, he wasn't seeing her.
The asker and her accomplice switched their interrogation to me: Why are you laughing? Where are you from? Are you just on holiday up here then? What music do you like? Do you like classical music? I don't. How old are you?
The red-haired girl got off at the same stop as me, asked me where I lived in Edinburgh then, if not round there; confided that those girls are pretty annoying, and the boy with the 'fake orange highlights' is 'weird'. I think she kinda likes him though.