The sun’s getting so low now, so early. I sound redundant but it blows my mind leaving indoors at the same time I did a month prior to low lighting you can barely read under. The lights that do come in place cut through clearly and definitively like man-made stars, but their just blobs of paint in comparison to their original subjects. No life or magic in their keeping us out of the dark-unseen of the night.
Despite that one alteration of the familiar there’s little change to the wait and arrival that I’m moving towards. Maybe some extra layers reducing the hunch of my shoulders, hunching forward to lean on my knees while I’m leaning through the next ten minutes without anything to sit up and look around at. Sitting in wait so that I can sit in wait on a rumbling bus, but at least the driver is friendly. I’m not listening to him in favor of music of my choosing but he smiles at me and I exchange the kind of smile I’d like if I were him: small and friendly without any obligation of anything more than being polite. It’s all I want from him, and all I want from the bus is to hear its engine moving us and its wheels making the tour of the blocks home. The frame of the bus seems old, but I don’t know if every bus is old and creaking or if that’s their design even when new and clean.
I can count on one hand those of us on the ride and I like it. I like it because I don’t like the music I have pouring in to my ears through my ear-buds, despite it being the best collection of songs I could think of. What’s the problem? It’s all the same few artists, the same few beats, the same few scenes. It’s the kind of package I put together because I know it makes me feel the type of way that’ll get me home strong and stave off the longing of home’s comfort. At the very least, it’ll sub in my desired comfort for the state-of-mind that’s comfortable out in public.
I’m not in to it though, and I can hit pause and turn off the beats that aren’t in rhythm with my circadian. I keep the earbuds in though because they feel in place. The white noise of the bus is the kind of familiar you never yearn for but appreciate having, and nothing feels better than checking in to the soundtrack supplied by the world around me. I don’t need to stamp reminders of myself or pad the walls around me with confidence to enjoy a simple ride home, and the simplicity of it fills me like the steam of boiling tea comfortably fills the nostrils when my knees ache and the chill persistently dances with a fever.
Three quarters of the way home a lurch and bounce bring my elbow down hard on the metal arm-rest. It’s not quite the catalyst for a sour taste spreading or a burst of citronella muscling through a crowd of light and pleasant aromas, but it’s enough to balance out the ride and note it in my mind. It’s like late afternoon rain proceeding sunlight that only takes-leave come nightfall: a negative giving significance to the positive.
When the time comes I signal my exit and wait for the doors to set me free. I don’t push on the handle but I watch for the green light, and when it comes the doors slide apart and I step out in to the dark coolness and walk the last part of the journey home.