Katherine Hayton | Buses
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10 Dec / Buses

When I can’t be bothered walking home, which these days is almost every day of the working week, I catch a bright green bus which drops me very close to my front door.

It’s a wonderful service, and one which I’m extremely grateful for considering that my other choices would be paying for a taxi or walking. I no longer even have the option of cycling having neglected to ride on one for over twenty years and not having one.

However, even with my grateful wee non-driving heart, and my grateful wee non-walking feet, I do sometimes have to admit that the bus and I are not the best of friends.

Hot days and unwashed flesh; cold days and doors that stick open; overly inebriated riders thinking that everyone on the bus is their best mate, or their worst enemy, or in one slightly more awkward encounter their cheating spouse.

You’d think that by wearing in-ear headphones I would be ably pointing out to my fellow commuters that I have enough to occupy my time, I don’t need to be chatted to, or at, or up. Alas, this code is indecipherable to many.

I was on a communication course once which said if you fake interest in what another person is saying, you often become interested despite yourself. Apparently I’m not so shallow. The best I can manage is not to yawn widely in their faces.

And I’ve learnt over the years not to try to get a word in edgewise. When the social workers are trying to acclimate people into performing conversational techniques I think they’re glossing over the “and then you let them respond” part of it.

You can tell that the buses themselves are nervous about the people that they carry inside them each day. Otherwise why would they cling to each other’s backsides in little tag teams. When the schedule says the buses arrive an average of ten minutes apart they mean when you divide the three buses that arrive at once by the forty minutes until the next one, two, or three.

Still the metro service does occasionally try to spread the little blighters apart. Usually by forcing me off a bus on which I have a seat, onto a more crowded one where I don’t. On one memorable occasion doing this twice before I arrived home. ‘How many buses do you have to take Katherine?’ ‘Oh, between one and three.’

On the other hand I’m home now so I’ll forgive and forget for the moment, there are more important matters at hand.

There’s another toofer on tonight, with my first showing at Two Ends of the Pen, and my late show at Coffee, Books & Art. The tours going to come to a sad close at the end of the week, so if you want to make sure that you’re heartily sick of me AND in the draw for a $50 gift card, head on over!

By Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog

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