napowrimo nsimdana (thirty)

on the bus

again it’s packed

bus riders are bottle necked at the front of the bus while the back remains empty

each body so close you can smell the coffee on the breath

or the horrible stench of the mouth breather who sits behind you

morning breath must be declared an act of chemical warfare

times like this i wish i had mask

it’s quiet

no one talking

most are reading the free newspapers that will be discarded

scattered on the floors or stuffed between the seats

it’s awkward

sitting in front of someone with their crotch rubbing against your knee

i’m sure it’s an accident

i close my eyes

pretend i’m catching up on some much needed sleep

pretend i’m meditating

bus riders shuffle to the exits as we near the downtown core

it’s all business as usual


all the seats are cleared up and there’s this person still sitting next to me

they don’t move

i’m not sure why they don’t get up and make themselves more comfortable

in the seat in front or in the back or on the side

there’s so many seats to choose from

maybe they think it would be rude if they seat somewhere else

besides next to me

maybe they think they will hurt my feelings

like we’ve become best friends during our transit to work

and we’re afraid to let go of each other

buddies till the bitter end

i won’t leave you if you don’t leave me

it’s like we’re in elementary school again

i wanna whisper my darkest secrets to them at this time

i make up a history of our friendship

how we met at the school ground and we fought all the bullies in the yard

how we went to the same university and graduated in the same year

our kids hang out and celebrated each birthday together

how we go on vacations to our cottages that are side by side on the same lake in northern quebec

the animated voice announces the next stop

and it’s my time to depart

and all of sudden i am having a sense of loss

will i ever see this person again

maybe i should hug them or something

and it’s just weird because we are the only ones left on the bus

i get up from the seat and smile awkward at them

i nod my head and say i’m gonna miss you

i shrug my shoulders

and think naw, that’s not weird at all


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