As the man drove by, I saw his head jerk forward once, then again. He was sneezing. "Bless you," I said softly, needlessly, an instinctive response he never heard as he drove off to wherever he was going.
I've been pretty sneezy myself this morning. Each time I sneeze, I pause and listen. More often than not, somebody in cubicle-land will call out, "Bless you!" from afar. I always respond with a "thank you", so I like to make sure I listen carefully so I'll hear it.
I'm always a bit startled when nobody says anything after a sneeze. My "thank you" is all bottled up, ready to be said, but I have no reason to say it.
Such an odd little custom we have, the sneezing ritual....but I like it anyway. I feel a little incomplete without it.