Eight Thirty to Park Crescent

I have to get the bus to hers. I’m glad public transport exists because it’s the only way I can get anywhere and it gives me a chance to see people, go someplace. Of course, getting the bus exposes you to some of the petty inevitabilities and frustrations inherent within the existence of the English working class, counting among the many complaints about the weather,

“Shite weather to wait for a bus eh?”

and,

“The Bus Is Late.”

Stating the facts doesn’t change them. As I said, I am going to see her and I still am, that isn’t going to change. That’s what the bus engenders among us, the knowledge that we are always waiting, stated most simply as,

“The Bus Is Late,”

an acknowledgement of the inevitability of waiting, the ecstasy of it-all-at-once ever out of view, no matter what angle you crane your neck around the road and wish and wonder. There is nothing in the world like the wait, the long nights of hospital coffee and pall malls and the shorter, colder mornings in broken shelters tapping your foot as if it’d make the steel-on-wheels you want to be in get there quicker.

But the bus will come when it will.

It is this shelter, this stop, that the bus I most often need to get on halts. So it is here I wait with everyone else who waits also. It’s a good conversation starter, being all subject to the sky’s groans, tantrums and tears. Smoking is another good conversation starter but that is another kind of wait, death deferred and immediate. But I digress, the bus is here.

A bus is a succession of moving images in relation to other objects, both in and out side. Rictus-grin faces with digitally enhanced teeth ask from the rafters,

“Do you want a winning smile?”

And the absent expressions from the people packed in two by two are reply enough, they would take perhaps any smile at all. What will she think of my smile? I brushed them, I used Listerine, I meticulously flossed. A dentist fresh smile! How often do people on leaving the dentist wish to immediately kiss someone? Something about, drills, nitrous and needles is profoundly unsexy to me but I can speak only for myself. The images try and speak for me though. The walls are gesturing, whispering.

“Do you smell fresh?”

“Do you worry where you will find the next one?”

I do worry.

Questions and proclamations on the way to her. Are my teeth white enough? Where is the next toilet? Don’t waste medicine, it can’t be recycled! Find your future at University Centre X. Be what you’re supposed to be. The smell the ladies love. The person next to me smells of lavender soap. Fulfil your potential. The fundamental mode of advertising is existential crisis, assuage it with Things. Be careful of loan sharks. Don’t question the system that makes you need them. Visit historic Kings Lynn. I like Kings Lynn. Not as nice as Stamford though. Buy a MegaRider™ and shop all week long! Have you thought about what will happen to your loved ones when you pass away? Take out life insurance today. Receive a free Useless Fucking Trinket.

I had thought about it, actually.

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