The man is two inches taller than me, he has scruffy a black beard growing in, and is sitting, way, way, WAY too close to me.
I'm feeling quite cornered in my bus seat, him hovering his two ghastly inches above me.
I seriously question his sobriety.
He must be at least twice my age, and won't stop murmuring sweet nothings in my ear, even when I don the headphones and crank the volume to drown him out.
I pray the next stop is his.
The next stop is never his.
Then I notice someone else, from the seat adjacent to me rise and walk towards the front of the bus.
I don't get a good look at him. My eyes are too busy trying to ignore the presence next to me.
The man up front does not exit the bus; he stays up there with the driver. He nods in my direction.
He says something.
The beaded man next to me shifts, moves out of the seat.
I pretend I'm not watching carefully as he approaches the driver, and he speaks with him. Maybe he argues with him, maybe he gets scolded - I'm too far away to tell.
My headphones drown out the dialogue.
He sheepishly sits back down seven gracious seats behind me.
There's breathing room.
As always, I'm too shy to express my gratitude.
I'm too frazzled to even give a look of thanks.
But, from the way I stopped holding my breath and eased back into the seat, near dizzy with relief, I can only hope he got the message.