Pitter Patter

A day in the life.


3. III

I’d studied this females face for a while now. I say studied, as though I was intently staring at her with the object of catching her flailing affections. But it was more like glimpses, frequent glimpses that if you took the seconds away when I wasn’t looking at her, then it’d have been a stare. I genuinely wasn’t staring. That’s the trouble with trains and planes and bus’s - everyone always thinks you’re staring at them. Anyway. Her face was chiseled. I’m sure she could’ve been a man. Maybe that’s why I was looking. To see if she actually was a man that is, not as in “That woman looks like a man, I’ll have some.”. I had no idea even how I’d ended up on this bus. I didn’t even know what bus it was. Her face appeared to me as though the gargoyles in horror films; pale, complex, intricately woven details that carved their own picture. It was as though you could tell what she was from her face. Everything she’d done and what had happened. I didn’t want to ask her incase I got it wrong, and besides, people never like when you speak to them on the bus. Apart from old people. But if you’re too young a person to be speaking to too old a person they just think you’re trying to cause them grief. I’d felt someone was missing from the bus. They hadn’t been there and gone, but the balance was wrong. All wrong. I’d have laughed if it was the driver, how the hell was this thing moving? It wasn’t the driver, naturally. I liked bus drivers though. They get a lot of grief. I always made sure to take my earphones out before I get on the bus and warmly greet them, knowing that I was probably doing the worst thing as they just wanted to get the damn thing moving. The bus kept chugging along and I was still looking at this synthetic woman, desperately trying to think about her, anything at all. What was I saying? I didn’t even know who she was. She got off at the next stop and I kept staring at the space were her head had been. I stayed on the bus for a while, I might as well make use of the fare I’d paid, and plus I liked just sitting down and taking these journeys. It was always like going through a dream. Some people sleep so little that the real world is their dream. Some people sleep so much they haven’t even learned the definition of “real”. I hated myself at that moment for coming out with such a disappointing theory. I’d decided that I’d take the route all the way downtown. It might feel like I was on a crime drama programme, getting into the gritty underworld of the town, and exploring the things that we don’t usually see on the way to work or home. It was like when day goes to night. A different atmosphere, a different place almost. I pulled from my pocket the last of that roll that the waitress back at the cafe had given me, thank the heavens I’d saved it, I might encounter some more pigeons en route to downtown. That almost makes it sound like I’d pull the bus window down and see how many pigeons I can provide nutrition with, scoring points for speed of consumption and proximity of drop. I didn’t do that. The window was already open so I commenced the feeding. There were no pigeons around. Maybe they’d congregated with the ducks to form an airbourne army. Yeah, I was certain that’s what they’d done. Airbourne army of ducks and pigeons with Commander Breadcrumb at the helm. Nothing could go wrong if this was the case. I had a habit of rolling up bits of paper that I accumalated during my travels. I would then find a suitable depository for them (hardly ever a bin). I think more than anything it was out of not knowing what to do with my hands. Hands are such awkward things. If they’re in your coat you look like you want to engage someone in physical combat, drawing your weapons out at an inevitably predictable moment, and if they’re swinging by your side then you look as though you’re trying to do some 1980‘s discotheque movement. I hated hands. So I rolled paper. I gave them a purpose. Moses parted the Red Sea and I rolled paper. If anything this was confirmation that I was destined too for greatness.
Dammit, I had been staring.
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