Author Topic: A short journey on the bus  (Read 1503 times)

Payne

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A short journey on the bus
« on: July 10, 2007, 12:23:52 am »


I'm waiting at the stop for the bus. It should be here by now, but, then again the clock on my phone is about five minutes fast. I'll roll my self a ciggie, and smoke it while I wait. It's warm and dry out, for a change, so this is actually quite an easy process. Hardly any traffic, no one else is waiting for the bus. Nothing to watch or amuse myself with (even contracting the sign "County Hotel" on the derelict building down the road to "Cunty Hotel" has lost some of it's charm) so I lose myself in a semi-impatient, semi-idiotic reverie.

The ciggie magic fails me this time. Usually as soon as I light up, the bus turns the corner. I don't mind too much, as I am just finishing it when my blockish chariot does arrive.

The change for the bus is warm and sweaty (I've been holding it, with my hand in my pocket, for about eight minutes) as I hand it to the driver and mumble my destination. The bus is empty except for one young guy, sitting on my right hand side about half way up. I pay little attention to him as I choose a seat on my left,about two thirds of the way up, right over the rear axle.

Here, the seats are slightly raised compared to the ones nearer the front. In fact the seat in front of me is the first one with the higher back. As I sit down, I feel like I'm camping out in a fort, like I did when I was a kid. My feet rest comfortably on the hump in the floor that is the wheel arch (I presume, I've never really examined the underfloor of a bus). I glance over to the other passenger, seeing only a 3/4 view of the back of his head. Up ahead in the rear view mirror, I can see a distorted image of my chaffeur. This mirror is obviously only in place to watch his customers, I think, it can be of no use whatsoever in watching the road behind him as the rear window is narrow, and set high.

The bus moves off, and my mind drifts. I watch the reflections bouncing between the windows on each side of me, I see the little specks of dirt, the dirty water marks rain has left streaked over the outside of the window. I poke and prod the seal around the glass. I try to find a comfortable place to rest my arm.

Before I really think about it, I'm in the centre of town. Stonehaven is not a big place, but there are enough cars and people bustling about the old and narrow streets to make it seem almost metropolitan. It takes a little while to clear the traffic snarl, and get on our way out of town. We've picked up some passengers, and I look them over as we hit the main road into Aberdeen.

The young man has an old guy sitting in front of him. He looks a little tipsy, and has a kick ass cane. I find myself wishing for an opportunity to talk to him, believing that he would be a riot. I know, however, that I'm not going to talk to him.

Down at the front is a plump woman, and a young boy of about 15 or so. I assume they are mother and son, and try to visualise their relationship, basing it entirely on the clothes they are wearing, on their body language, on the fact they don't say a word to each other. It's a fruitless, and somewhat boring, examination.

In front of these two are a couple women, in the little bay set aside for prams, or wheelchairs. They are surrounded by luggage, but don't seem to have that 'exotic' look about them that anyone foreign around here seems to have. Off on a holiday somewhere, no doubt, but again, not interesting.

Directly in front of me, is a blue rinse brigade. five or six old women talking in hushed tones, huddled together. As if for warmth or safety. I would put my money on safety, as it's starting to get quite stuffy in here.

I know there's no one sitting behind me as there's no noise. Anyone sitting that far back in public transport is going to be a boisterous adolescent.

My mind wanders a little again, the road travels along the cliffs, and to my right is the large grey expanse of the North Sea. As I glance up to my left, again between Young Man and Old Guy, I see a small building with a decaying sign, which declares it to be the "East Coast Garage" (I'm on the East coast of Scotland, for those unfamiliar with the geography) I smile a little as I think about my recent obsession with PD. I picture ECH as a hardbitten rural Scottish mechanic, and consider how SMALL the world can be sometimes.

As the bus takes detours through little flyspeck villages with hills that seem as steep as the cliffs there are perched on, I also consider that smiling to yourself can be a badwrong thing to do in public these days. (I once tried to picture everyone I met as a zen master, with something to teach me, following advice as it was written. I stopped after it became too uncomfortable for me...)

To be continued a later time...

Darth Cupcake

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Re: A short journey on the bus
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2007, 01:05:41 am »
I dig your narrative style, though I sometime gnash my teeth over present tense. You are pulling it off so far, though.

Also, when I saw "East Coast Garage," I immediately thought of ECH. :oops: I feel only marginally vindicated by your reference to him.

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Payne

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Re: A short journey on the bus
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2007, 01:08:48 am »
I dig your narrative style, though I sometime gnash my teeth over present tense. You are pulling it off so far, though.

Also, when I saw "East Coast Garage," I immediately thought of ECH. :oops: I feel only marginally vindicated by your reference to him.

PD.com: IT CONSUMES YUOR FRIGGIN BRAINS!

Blergh.

I was going to write something more in reply. My brain is damaged from the mind rays though...