Bus Stop

August 23, 2012
I stand at the bus stop, looking at a puddle. The puddle gleams, golden flecks of nothingness splintering in the filthy black water. Cool drops shatter the surface of the puddle, and the water begins to flow, just a little, down the street. It is 7:00am.

I am getting wet too. The rain falls harder, faster, in larger droplets. It’s a deluge, and I smile, watching the gold in the puddle shiver. A car sweeps past loudly, then another one. Their noise and self-importance somehow pollute my small spot. I glance at the warmly lit coffee shop across the road, and then try to ignore it. It is 7:02am.

I crouch down (it’s too wet to kneel) and unzip the back pocket of my backpack-on-wheels. I pull out my earbuds and i-pod. The small blank screen reflects my face. I stuff my ears, white wires trailing. Rain falls on my jacket, on my backpack, on the ground, on the leaves of the tree in gentle thumps, and I hear it now. I wonder why I didn’t notice it before, and take out the earbuds. Maybe it’s like my heartbeat, I muse; I’m so used to the sound that it all but fades from my consciousness unless I pay attention. I put my i-pod back in my bag, take my hood off, and lift my head towards the gray sky. And for one glorious instant, that’s all there is. It is 7:05am.

But I’ve thought of the time now, I’m checking my phone to be sure, and I’m not focused on the rain anymore, and how it feels like a heartbeat. It just a grey morning, I’m just standing here in the rain (not listening to music), waiting for the bus. And it’s late. The 31, according to the website and the piece of paper on the bus pole, comes at 7:04am. But it does that in the summer, when the light is good and the roads are clear and I don’t ride the bus. I’m used to it – I will arrive at school early anyway. It is 7:06am.

My mind fast-forwards to the day ahead. I fret about the Math test, moan to myself at the thought of French vocabulary and hope the debate in History is interesting. I dimly register more cars sweeping by, these just as puffed up and proud as the others, but I don’t see it now, don’t care. My thoughts drift toward the weekend, and I dream. It is 7:09am.

The 31 approaches loudly, puffing hard and squeaking slightly. My haze of thinking breaks, and I am pulled back to reality. I pull out the handle of my bag, check my pocket for the fare, and watch as the bus comes down the street. The door opens in front of me. I climb on. It is 7:10am, and another ordinary day is beginning to unfold.

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