The Same Kind of Hats

Resting his forehead against the window, Tyrone watches the rain wash down on buildings and trees as they appear in the distance, grow larger, and fade out of view. The glass is cold but he doesn’t mind.
As the bus reaches a stop, he leans back, closing his eyes. Doors open, old faces get out, new faces get in, doors close with a huff, the usual routine.
“I can’t understand it, she always does that,” says a blonde woman behind him into a phone, “and she just believes her and lets her get away with it.” She’s a secretary and she’s late for work. Tyrone wishes she would hush it. He’d rather sleep. He’s tired and still has many stops to go.
The bus brakes abruptly. Tyrone opens his eyes. Traffic. He looks at his watch and sighs.
At the next stop an old man gets in and takes the seat across him, facing him.
Tyrone smiles. This old guy looks a lot like his grandfather, or at least like the vague image Tyrone has, from his fading memories and old photos. It has already been ten years.
“Morning,” says the old guy, his thick lips curving into a smile. His greeting carries that familiar smell of old things, things that have been drenched and dried, broken and repaired, many times.
“Good morning,” replies Tyrone.
The bus starts running again and the old man’s wedding ring clanks as he grabs the nearest rail.
Tyrone sees the old man set his hat on his knee, the same kind of hats his grandfather wore.
“How’s your day going, boy?” He shoves his hair backwards with his wrinkled fingers.
Tyrone smiles. “I’m fine, thanks,” he replies and he feels something snap inside.
Tyrone closes his eyes and wonders what ever happened with the hats his grandfather wore.
The old man fishes an olive green handkerchief out of his pocket and starts coughing into it. “’Scuse me,” he says in the middle of his fit.
The bus brakes hard. As it speeds again and swerves on a curve, the hat lands over Tyrone’s right shoe. Tyrone picks it up and holds it briefly since the old man continues to cough loudly.
“Thank you, son,” says the old man finally, smiling as he examines Tyrone through his thick glasses. Tyrone nods and tries to smile.
The Stop Requested sign on the roof of the bus lights up with a pleasant tune as Tyrone presses the button several stops early. He can’t take this, it’s too much.
“Have a nice day,” says Tyrone as he stands up with teary eyes, trying to set aside old memories.