Monday, November 19, 2007
bus stop hallucinations
She does not know how long she has been waiting at bus stop C. Her feet are numb, her forearms ache and her palms burn at those places the twisted carrier bag handles meet flesh. It is early evening. Or late afternoon. She cannot tell. The effort required in lifting her arm and pushing back a woollen coat sleeve to look at her watch is daunting. The sky is inscrutable, a shade of purple interior design magazines like to call Aubergine. Aubergine. How sexual, exotic and desirable they make the squishy brinjal sound. She enjoys these little mental detours. They take her mind off waiting for the bus and wondering how long she has been waiting. Minutes, hours, days…. Weeks? Why is no one looking for her if she has been missing for weeks, waiting for the H17 at bus stop C? It has been raining for some time now. The wind tugs the hard pelts of water about on an invisible leash so that every now and then a droplet or dozen lands on her face. Mixing with the tears. She is not crying because she is sad. Oh no. It is the wind. It stings her eyes and makes them water. She makes no attempt to wipe the tears away, opting to produce a few of her own so that passers by get startled when they see her: a woman with plastic bags in her hand crying at the bus stop. Has she been alone at the bus stop all this time? Of course you have silly, who wants to share a bus stop with a crazy crying woman? This means there is no one to ask when the bus will come. Perhaps the bus has come and gone and she, intent on startling passers by and wondering about the sexuality of aubergines (colour not vegetable) has missed it. Perhaps it slipped away as she stared at nothing just as he had crept away while she slept. He did leave you a note she reminds herself, it wasn’t as though you woke up and he was gone. A note. And his toothbrush, a half empty box of Wheetabix and the garbage. She still had the note, toothbrush and box of Wheetabix. The garbage she had to throw away after a month. ‘It stank’ the neighbours complained. They were probably still upset about their cats. It had been an accident. She hadn’t meant to. There she went again. ‘Focus’ she tells herself, ‘you’re here to catch the bus’ and wonders what colour the interior design magazine would call the block of red trundling by.