Excerpt from something I wrote:
At the Bus Stop
The humming wakes her up. It didn’t just start, it has been part of the background noise since she went to sleep. It doesn’t stop except for the minutes when she is taking a shower. Then she pumps up the volume of the radio, listening in muted wonder to the base pound through the powerful speakers. It becomes a hum again after her shower, when she puts on her ear phones, the ones she had on while she slept, throughout the night, throughout her life.
She wakes everyday at the same time, in her dinghy flat in the vast metropolis. Her flatmate, an insipid character with bad breath and of dubious sexuality, would be up already cutting up pieces of carrot, or some specie of flora for a vegetable breakfast.
Chop chop chop
She leaves the apartment before the sun is up, joining the daily rush for transport. Stands in the queue feeling like she’s been on one for every moment of her life, waiting, waiting.
She’s half listening to the sounds coming from her ipod. She watches the crowd with detached interest, highlighting the contrasts:
A well dressed bank worker
Eyes crimson from lack of sleep,
The beggar child and shadow
Playing in the rubbish heap
She thinks in words, large rhyming words. They occupy her head, squeeze all other thoughts out. She is often occupied with constructing her thoughts. Do you construct thoughts like you do buildings? With deliberation and concrete? Or do they float down like butterflies when we least expect?
She has been told, numerous times, by teachers, colleagues, pseudo-friends to stop being whimsical. They remind her of where she’s from. Dissuade her from aspiration. She barely hears them. In school she was asked to write a story about herself –
She came from the downtown area
The worst city strips
And lycra pants
Clinging to her hips
She sees him finally. He is in front of her on the queue, a scowl on his face. She enjoys regarding the contours of his face, the cut of his suit, evidence of his grace. He’s here everyday, just like her. She always sits two rows behind him so she can observe his profile the entire journey. He whistles and she lowers the volume on her ipod to catch the tunes. They are strange and lonesome. She goes through much of the day in anticipation of this time in the morning when she’d shuffle along, with a number of other feet, and they would both climb, one unaware but together nonetheless, into the breathing vehicle. Headed to one destination.
My red romance
In the LAGBUS
When we’re there
There’s just us
And no one else
In the plastic seats
He hums a tune
My heart skips beats.