THE BUS STOP | PATRICK CHRISTIANA
THE BUS STOP
He sits at a bus stop. Rain washes the dark and empty streets and drums down on the covering over his head. He has the bench to himself and plenty of room, but he huddles in the corner, perched uneasily on the small folding seats. If he fidgets too much his balance wobbles, so he sits perfectly still.
He listens to the rain’s ceaseless beat. Every now and then a car whishes by and quickly fades into the night. The rain hisses against humming electric lights, dissipating against the hot neon lines, squares and circles. These shapes mean nothing to the man, just words he never bothered to learn. He often says he’ll make the effort one day, but he knows he won’t.
The cold rain throws itself against the roof of the stop and winds its way down the glass. He passes the time by watching the drops slowly race each other until they drain away into nothingness. A race with no prize. For a moment he wonders if there is something poignant in that. He decides there isn’t.
He breathes deep and blows his foggy breath out into the night to see how far he can make it go. The cloud starts strong but always gives way to the dark soon after leaving him. The man looks to the route map. He traces the tangled colored twines of lines with his eyes. Around they loop, making great treks across the city, dodging and dipping and winding until they return to where they began. His destination is on there, somewhere in that multicolored maze.
A growing wooshing rumble grabs his attention. The bus comes, clacking and thudding down the street. The rain flees around it as the bus slides to a lurching halt. The door opens, light floods out. He has to squint to see inside. He sees the driver, but the driver doesn’t turn, only looks off down the road. He realizes he is holding his breath, body tense. Then the door slowly closes, the bus lurches forward. He watches it fade down the street.
Minutes pass. He stands up, pulls his collar against the rain, and steps out into the night.