To The Man Sat on the Bus,
The Man Stood by the Bus Stop. Who was to become The Man Sat on the Bus.
If you like real stories because those are the unbelievable ones, then you should know your timing was just that. Unbelievable. As I stared at the bus timetable, blurry eyed and too tired to bother to read past “Monday to Friday,” The Man Stood by the Bus Stop said the kind words I struggled to obtain from the numbers in front of me: Fourteen minutes past.
We escape our Mondays by watching our favourite television shows; our favourite movies. The ones where a protagonist’s rainy day ends with a purple sunset and a stranger, armed with benevolent words. After two hours of recapping a grim morning, with a face tattooed by a scowl and fists so firmly clenched I feared I’d forgotten how to stretch my fingers out carelessly, it’s hard not to Hollywood up our fleeting thirty minutes. Our fleeting thirty minutes that, although may only stay with me tonight, I’m privileged to say they belong to the real life you like to read about. And if they really don’t belong in the last five minutes of an American soap opera, they at least belong on my laptop screen after I wanted nothing more than to throw the pen in three minutes before we met.
“Where have you been today?”
“To a job interview.”
And while talking to a stranger about it would have been easier than talking to a friend, when he asked, “How did it go?”, I lied.
“It went well, thank you.”
It took thirty seconds to find common ground and ten more minutes for the bus to arrive. As important as the need to show and not tell is, we agreed that we must write complicated simply and, more urgently, shortly, and yet-
After a morning plagued by rejection, an afternoon with a friend and a train journey so intolerant to inspiration I spent two hours unthinkingly staring at my phone, you said two words that couldn’t have been said at a better place or at a better time.
The Girl Sat on the Bus.