It was a stormy night, and heavy rain came along with the rumble, the number 26 bus was late as usual, and after having the day I had I didn’t seem to give a damn. I had just been fired from my job. As the leafless tree above the bus stop offered no cover for the downpour that was ensuing, I thought a little water won’t hurt. I didn’t mind, I needed to be cleansed. The rain offered a cool, clean feel that beaded off my bald head, I felt at peace at that moment, the first time in a while.
They are all standing around the bus stop – and are like children. There is the waitress, early fifties, cute in her lipsticks, and the black pinny spoiled only by long black trousers. She ignores me, she understands how I am a top predator of the top deck. She couldn’t trust herself upstairs with me in the eye-line.
We’re different from the boisterous crowds of the weekends. The loud drunks commuting between parties, or the twitching addicts rocking and scratching at their skin, the entangled limbs of one night lovers clawing at each and wrapping around one another in the back. No, we’re the night bus sleepers, a different breed entirely.
“Don’t be concerned madam” I tell her while shoveling the coins mixed with tiny fragments of glass off the stairs and into my coat pockets. An honest days work for an honest days pay.
“Nowadays happiness it seems comes with a receipt, sanity comes in a bottle, and beauty comes from the leather around your feet.”
In twenty-six slashes of an angry pen, I enact my bloodthirsty revenge. An indigo insolence five thousand and twenty-six years in the making, a cuneiform callback as old as anger and ink and implements. A brilliant crescendo of rage, all staccato and forte and I’m the conductor, and for twenty-six seconds I feel strong, and there, just there on the seat, the culmination cut in the cream: