Monthly Archives: May 2013

Detritus – On the night bus – 8

This is not a job for the fussy, the squeamish, Lee nods to himself, satisfied that he has managed to use todays’ googled word – squeamish

fastidious or dainty.

easily shocked by anything slightly immodest; prudish.

excessively particular or scrupulous as to the moral aspect of things.

easily nauseated or disgusted: to get squeamish at the sight of blood.

nice and early in the day.
Sometimes, if the word is especially tricky or complicated it take hours to find a sentence to drop the word into. If it gets to 9, 10, o clock at night, he can start to panic, wonder if he’s going to make it.

But today, 9.17 am, shift finished at the bus depot, full english in front of him and he’s used the word in a soliloquy, so there’s no chance of coming across as a complete ponce in front of the other guys.


noun, plural so·lil·o·quies.
an utterance or discourse by a person who is talking to himself or herself or is disregardful of or oblivious to any hearers present (often used as a device in drama to disclose a character’s innermost thoughts): Hamlet’s soliloquy begins with “To be or not to be.”

the act of talking while or as if alone.


He slices into the egg, watches the yolk split and he’s reminded of a Jackson Pollock painting, all that red and yellow, drips and splashes.

People, he considers, spearing a bit of sausage onto his fork and dipping it into the egg, tomato combo, people think that anyone who does his job must be a bit thick, a muppet, not much going for them, but the truth is quite different, there’s more to his team than meets the eye.

For a start off, there’s himself – new word every day, Sky Arts, although obviously not if there’s an important match on, books, real ones, not just Andy McNab or the bloke who writes about the Holy Grail and stuff.

And then there’s Mohammed, of course his real name’s not Mohammed, he’s a convert, used to be Stevo, Hassan, who was at school with him, says Stevo was an ugly f***er back in the day , Hassan reckons he’s only converted so that he’s guaranteed a wife, maybe even two.
But, Stevo/Mohammed takes it pretty seriously, got a little prayer mat he rolls out and everything and mostly no-body laughs, much.

Lee thinks about the rest of the team ,the night bus cleaning and maintenance crew, there’s Hassan, working this job and then straight off to his cousin brothers’ factory for another 10 hours, sometimes he falls asleep on the back seat of the no 43, but no-body says anything.
Gay Martin, Gaybo, Lee’s not actually sure if Martin is gay, but once he asked if the caff served herbal tea, so there’s a bit of doubt there, but Martin has other stuff going on, always got head phones on, one day Lee overheard, expected it to be music, but it was some bird speaking, sounded like Italian, Spanish, Lee doesn’t really know what to make of it and then there’s the twins, Peto & Tibor, identical, self contained, Tibor the smarter, the leader, the one who’s learnt a bit of english, does the talking for both of them. They’ve got other stuff going on, always on their phones, guttural language, even when its whispered.

(of a speech sound) Produced in the throat; harsh-sounding.
A guttural consonant (e.g., k, g) or other speech sound.

Lee sits back, sighs, looks down at the carnage on his plate, full English devoured, he leans across, picks up a piece of toast and applies a thick coating of marmalade, lovely.

So, that’s the team


and every night, they get to the depot, 2am and wait for the night buses to come in, bit of banter with the drivers and then clean team on board, they have 10, 15 mins max to turn the buses round, ready for the day shift, which is where the not squeamish comes in, no time to hang about.

People always leave stuff on buses, but the night buses, they’re something else, there’s the obvious, vomit and worse, bags, shoes, coats, underwear, of course and sometimes weirdly random stuff

Made, done, happening, or chosen without method or conscious decision: “a random sample of 100 households”.
Governed by or involving equal chances for each item.
fortuitous – haphazard – accidental – chance – incidental

a sewing machine, bag of wool, a photo album.

Of course, they’re meant to hand in the valuable stuff, phones, lap tops, money and usually the driver has got there before them, grabbed anything tasty, but if you’re not proud and don’t mind grubbing around, you can find a lot of loose change and on minimum wage, well it all helps.

Lee has paid for today’s breakfast from the coinage off the Brent Cross bus, it being free has made it even more tasty and he sits back, checks his watch, plenty of time and orders another tea, cos what he’s really doing is pulling together the story of Detritus, giving it a proper shape in his head, considering writing it down when he gets home.

It was December, proper cold and there is no-where colder than a bus depot at 5 am in the middle of December. Everyone is busy, it’s a heads down, get through the work sort of shift and then Hassan shouts to Lee from the Tooting Broadway bus, says there’s something on the back seat, something making a noise.

They’ve never had a baby on the bus, but it’s not completely impossible and Lee has a pretty good idea of exactly how much hassle that would be, so he shoots off the Balham bus and heads over to see what’s occurring and as he walks over, he can’t help thinking that this may be the only chance in his life to use the word foundling in conversation

An infant abandoned by its parents and cared for by others.

Hassan is standing half-way down the bus, black bin liner in hand, he points to the back seat and they both stand, listening carefully and then they hear it, a faint mewing sound and a scratching, scraping.
Hassan manages to put himself behind Lee and they walk down the aisle as the mewing, crying become louder. Lee does not want this to be a baby, does not want to be stuck at work for hours, does not want to talk to police, social workers, shift supervisor, mostly he does want to think about the kind of person who leave a baby on a bus in the middle of winter.

There is a canvas holdall, brown, bit battered, in the far corner of the long back seat and the noise is coming from inside, Lee takes a deep breath, bends down towards the bag and unzips it, praying as a hard as he can to a god he doesn’t believe in, that this is not going to go as horribly wrong as a shift can.

A person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena;…
Of or relating to agnostics or agnosticism.
nescient – know-nothing

He actually laughs out loud, laughs with relief when the face that looks up at him is not the bluing shape of a freezing new born baby, but black, furry, a kitten, 6 or 7 weeks old.
He hears Hassan behind him breathe out, an expression of relief and realizes that he has been holding his breath too.

And after the shift, when the congregate for a smoke and a cuppa, Lee brings the kitten, still in the holdall, the guys look, ask him what he’s going to do with it, Peto strokes it with one careful finger
“cat” he says, surprising them all and Lee finds that somehow he has agreed with himself to take the kitten home.

“what are you gonna call it?” asks Stevo/Mohammed and Lee has one of his finest moments, he looks at the guys, all of them clustered around the little cat.
“Detritus” he says ” I’m gonna call it Detritus”.

Waste or debris of any kind.
Gravel, sand, silt, or other material produced by erosion.

Lee smiles to himself, the story is good one, neat, some pretty high impact vocabulary and a happy ending, it’s worth writing it down, he leans back and wonders if he justify ordering another round of toast.

1976 and all that

It is 1976 and I paint my toe nails Californian Poppy red and my father says I am a tramp.

It is 1976 and my friend Karen is dating a Northern Soul DJ, he says his wife doesn’t understand him and our 14 year old mouths try out, for the first time, the flavour, taste and texture of this sentence.

It is 1976, we play swingball in the back garden, within days the parched grass is trodden down to dust.

It is 1976, I walk past the only punk record shop in town and want with every fibre of my being to go in, but too fearful, simply walk past as often as I can believably contrive, hoping that someone inside will notice me and see beyond my convent school uniform.

It is 1976, two older girls get expelled from school for piercing each others ears with darning needles and slices of cucumber. We talk about it in whispers in the playground.

It is 1976, there is some Royal Jubilee, but my family, Irish, keeping our heads down during the whole of the mainland bombing campaign do not get involved and do fly flags of any sort.

It is 1976 and I am teaching myself to like coffee and smoke cigarettes, I apply myself to the project with focussed concentration.

It is 1976, the Sex Pistols get to No 1, the record is banned, but I buy a copy & keep it hidden. I play it when my parents are out, I threaten my brother and sister with violence if they ever tell on me.

It is 1976 and I buy a pair of wedge espadrailles – they are so heavy that each time I walk, I twist my ankle over, but they are the first shoes I have ever bought myself and so I continue to walk and fall until the soles themselves fall apart.

It is 1976 and it doesnt rain, we watch people waiting for water at stand pipes on Nationwide and wait for the water to run out in Norfolk.

Sanctuary – On the Night Bus – 7 – part 2

It took her a few moments to notice how quiet it was, the child had stopped screaming, was making his low humming noise, the sound that in her world passed for silence, but then it dawned on her that the rest of the bus was soundless too.

She remembered night buses from that brief window between childhood and motherhood when she and her friends would go into town, her memories were of noise, movement, but this bus was still, the lights were dimmer than she remembered and when she finally summoned up enough surplus energy to lift her head to look around, what she saw was not like any night bus she had ever travelled on.

There were 5 maybe 6 passengers, all older, all wearing dark shapeless jackets, raincoats, navy, brown, black and all of them, these elderly people were looking directly at her, smiling and she knew she ought to feel worried, spider inner city senses ought to be tingling, but she was so, so tired and then a gentle voice, with just a burr of West Country, spoke from the seat behind her
“Have a rest, I’ll watch the baby, it’ll be fine”
She turned and saw a woman, hair in a loose messy bun, face creased but clean, wholesome and a smile that lit up the dimness and she knew that she should stand up,get of the bus, but her body refused to move and almost without thinking her head fell back and she slept.

She woke up, confused, unsure of where she was, panic stricken, but there was a hand resting on her shoulder, she spun round to see a tiny Japanese woman smiling at her
“Look” said the woman
“We have come full circle, you can get off here, the little boy is fine”
She pulled herself together, looked down at the child, he was dozing, eyes almost closed, clutching a little velvet cat in his soft round hands.

She didn’t remember getting of the bus, staggering, still half asleep down the steps to find herself a bare 5 minutes walk from the tiny flat, but as she began the trudge home, she realised that she wasn’t trudging, her body wasn’t weighed down with exhaustion and the child still dozed, his eyelids flickering in some incomprehensible dream state.

The energy stayed with her all day, she felt re-born and even dared a tiny trip to the park where the child stared at the ducks, but didn’t scream or writhe in horror in the buggy.

That night, she dared to stroke his hand
“Round and round the garden, like a teddy bear” and although he showed no real reaction to the touch, it was the nearest they had come to any contact that was not functional for months.
Later, he reached out and touched the velvet toy cat and although he didn’t sleep, he is calmer, quieter.

The energy and calm stayed with them over the next few days, they made trips to the swings, the big supermarket. She found herself lifting her eyes above the level of the buggy, noticed that summer had come, even to this grimy corner of the city.

Of course it didn’t last, 2 weeks later her eyes were back on the level of the pavement and her life had shrunk back to counting down to Wednesday and Friday mornings and the child had retreated to wherever felt like home to him.

Finally, on a wet Tuesday night when he had screamed and shrieked for hours and hours, she gathered him up and set off down the road
“It will help him sleep” she said to herself, denying the longing she had to find the bus again, to rest her head on the cool glass and to sleep.

She re-traced her steps to the bus stop and waited and waited, found herself repeating a little mantra of need
“Please let the bus come, please let it come” and when she had almost given up hope, was about to start the walk home, with the child still screeching, with her head bowed over the pushchair, she heard the rumble of a bus and looked up as the dimly lit night bus moved down the road towards her.

This time she was more aware, looked at the driver, fumbled in her purse for change, he, so dark skinned that he semed to gleam in the half light, shook his head, his loose dreadlocks rippled with the movement and he waved an expansive hand, ushering her on board.

The bus was exactly as she remembered, half a dozen soberly clad elders and she sank into the nearest seat.
The child had stopped screaming and was peering around the corner of the buggy.
A quiet voice behind her spoke
“Go to sleep now, we will watch the child” and almost child-like herself, she nodded obediently, rested her forehead against the window and slept.

Again, she woke, but this time there was no confusion, just that luxurious moment of comfort between true waking and sleep and again, she left the bus feeling as if a weight had left her shoulders.

Weeks and months went by, sometimes she found the night bus, sometimes she returned home, white faced, exhausted. She began to realise that she only met the bus when she was truly at the end of her tether, so started to ration her night time wandering to when she was desperate.

The child became a little easier, still screamed but the screams had lost their edge of despair. The respite carers noted that he had begun to make a little eye contact, would show an interest in a profffered toy
“He loves his little cat” said one of the nurses, bouncing the now shabby velvet kitten on his tummy while he grabbed and missed.

She had a little more energy, they went for day time walks, became regulars at the duck pond, where on a good day he would make his happy humming noise while she threw the end of loaves to the massed ranks of city ducks.

She touched him more and he objected less, very occasionally he would allow her to wrap her arms around him and she would sing whatever tune she head heard on Radio 1 that day

“I should be so lucky, lucky, lucky, I should be so lucky in love”

Autumn came , the nights got longer, colder.

The child still cried, sleept little, but she found in herself a reserve of energy, thought about the night bus less and less, but on Bonfire night, the noise unsettled her son. His screams reached a
crescendo and the bangs on the walls became more and more strident, angrier. Finally, although she knew it was far too cold, too late, she bundled the shrieking child into blankets and set off.

The streets were empty, just the smell of damp bonfires,dead fireworks and still her son screamed and for once she wanted to join him, wanted to scream out her anger and her sadness, but instead, she shivered inside her too thin jacket and pushed the buggy towards the night bus stop.

And inside the bus stop, out of the wind and the rain, with the drops beating down on the plastic roof, it felt cosy, safe, almost warm and she relaxed, felt her shoulders drop and she peered down the road, waiting for the lights of the bus she was sure would come.

Her son started to make a new noise, one so surprising that it brought her up sharp and she bet towards him to hear better
“Bu” he says
“Bu, Bu, Bu ”

She leaned her face close to his, this was the first sound that he had ever made that bore any relationship to speech and then she heard it, quite clearly

“Bus, Bus, Bus”

And together, they waited in the rain and the cold for the night bus to appear.

Sanctuary – on the night bus 7 – Part 1

She knew, of course she knew, at 6, 7, 8 months.
She knew then that there was something terribly wrong with her son. She would sit on the floor with him lying on her lap as she rocked him and looked at him, while he stared at her with no recognition, no expression, a stare that seemed to come from a million miles away.

The rocking sometimes, just sometimes stopped the screaming, replaced it with a blankness, but at least then there was some silence, some reprieve.

She took him to the doctor, any excuse, a cough, a cold , a sniff.
“Yes” they would say, “he seems quiet, unresponsive, perhaps some developmental delay” and she would feel medical eyes slide over her and then they would be outside, the 15 year old and the baby with the dead eyes and he would start screaming again and she would walk down the road, her tongue finding all the things she had needed to say 7 minutes earlier.

Weeks went by, he screamed, the neighbours stared glaring when she bumped the buggy down the steps from flat 3. People moved away from her, from them in the mini-mart, exchanged glances over her head. Most of the time she was simply too tired to even notice.

The other girls, friendships made in the teenage ante-natal group, proud parents of Paris, CHantelle, Ezra, Mohammed stopped calling for her, stopped inviting her to their little expeditions to the park, the swimming pool, the soft play area.

And then one day her mother called the baby it and then broke down, wept, said she could not take the screaming or the silences any more and that they would have to go, have to find somewhere else to live.

So, at 16, the council found her a tiny flat and she and her child moved in and her life shrank down to almost nothing.

She learnt to avoid the curious glances of her new neighbours, to try and time her occasional forays into the outside world to the 15 minute snatches of silence when he would sleep and when she was mostly capable of speech.
One day she fell asleep standing up in the check out line at Aldi, the elderly woman behind her nudged her gently and bleary eyed, sleep confused, she managed to stagger out of the store.

She celebrated her 17th birthday on her own, with her head buried under a pillow while her son cried for 3 hours and 40 minutes. He was older now, bigger, stronger and his cries had a new tonal quality, almost mechanical, metalic, skreechy.

Sometimes she fantasised about simply leaving the buggy at a bus stop, outside a store, next to the swings in a far away park, but then she would look at him and feel such a surge of love and guilt that she would forget and grab him up in an extravagence of love, holding on even when he bit hard enough to draw blood.

By now, she was almost 18 and had become fluent in the language of difference, of otherness.

She had a social worker, a fey, harried boy, whose cursory examination of her son for signs of non-accidental injury was not always as subtle as perhaps he thought . He suggested support groups, on-line self help programmes, useful web sites, but failed to notice that she had no computer and no internet.

She had a growing collection of the furniture of disability, an oversized push chair, a special seat, wraps for his limbs, a stack of disposable nappies.

As he grew older, he widened his repetoire of noise, there was a humming, almost a thrumming, a constant low noise, surprisingly soothing for the first 30 minutes, she labelled this his happy noise.
The other noises were less easy, a sharp scream, then an intake of breath and another scream and so on and so on and of course the crying continued, but perhaps he was running out of tears, often, he simply lay in complete silence, his fingers constantly kneading the edges of his Action man duvet.

But,still he didnt sleep, the social workers offered her two mornings a week respite care, with bright shiny faces the staff suggested that she could look at a college course, perhaps a p/time job. She stared back blankly, her only plans, the only thing she could possibily envisage for these 6 precious hours a week, was sleep, deep, deep, uninterrupted sleep.

And that was how she found eventually , the night buses, a desperate attempt to silence him, to escape the walls closing in, to be outside of the scream and the breath and the scream.

It was a warm night, so she simply, with a practised jab to his stomach to make his rigid, unco-operative body fold into the buggy, headed off down the stairs and onto the street.

She couldn’t remember the last time she had been out at night, it was almost a surprise to see that a world existed out there, full of people her age, drinking and eating and just hanging.
She walked and looked into the cafes and bars and the child squawked, but a muted, bearable squawk and after a while she dared to stop, get her bearings and seeing a coffee shop, she rooted around in her purse, found a crumpled and much folded fiver and without thinking too hard, there were better uses for the money, she bought a hot chocolate with marshmallow and sprinkles.
Standing on the street corner, left hand absently rocking the buggy, she enjoyed every last sip and amazingly, the child falls asleep and she walked home, a memory of sugar still on her lips.

So, the summer went on and the walks helped, he seemed calmer, stiller. Some nights, but not always, she would treat herself, an ice cream, a coffee. She felt her life get larger, expand to be a little more than just him and no sleep and the walls of the cramped flat.

And then one night it didn’t help, she walked for hours and hours and the child screamed,a full throated screech of anger and loss and fustration and nothing she did helped until finally, exhausted, she sank into a bus stop seat, whilst the noise from the child threatened to finally make her head explode.
She didn’t notice the Asian man waiting for the night bus until he leaned over and gently took her hand and by then, she was too tired to be fearful and so looked up at him with a dazed curiosity
“The bus” he said ” when my sons were small and wouldn’t sleep, we would take them for drives in the car, it seemed to help,maybe the bus will do the same”
He looks towards the main road and points
“Here comes one now”
And she knew that she should explain, walk away, walk back to the flat and the neighbours that ignored her and the counting down to Wednesday and Friday mornings, but she was beyond speech and so just nodded and when the bus stopped, she simply clambered on, manouvered the buggy into the pushchair space and stared blankly out of the window as the night turned into very early morning.

Rubies & Duels goes guerrilla

So, the plan, make business cards, leave them in odd/interesting places…..see what happens.
And, if you have enjoyed the world of rubiesandduels and would like to share the love, you too can be part of this.
Get in touch, tell me where you plan to leave the cards and if your suggestions rock my world and you are happy for me to have your address, I will send you some under plain brown wrapper.

Let’s spread the word.


Phoenix Writers… weekly writing task

150 words, including the phrase

…if she waits five minutes longer….

If she waits 5 minutes longer, he may have least have got his pants on

If she waits 5 minutes longer, the other woman in their bed may have taken her dresing gown off

If she waits 5 minutes longer, she may not have to hear the grunting, animal noises as she drops her car keys into the fruit bowl on the kitchen table

If she waits 5 minutes longer, they may have uncoupled and be able to at least look her in the eye

If she waits 5 minutes longer she may not need to follow the trail of clothes up the cord carpetted stairs

If she waits 5 minutes longer she may miss the exit of the neat black sports car from her gravelled drive

If she waits 5 minutes longer she may meet, head on, the car loosing control on the tight bend just before she turns for home.

Stags and Hens – on the night-bus 6 – part 2


Again, he has to hand it to Stewart, the lap dancing club is better than many he has fallen into at the fag end of a big night out. It actually looks a bit like the ones you see in movies, half naked girls circlulating with trays of drinks, 3, no, he counts more carefully through a light haze of coke and champagne, 4 girls gyrating round the shiny metal poles and pumping old school disco making his teeth ache very slightly.

There are 8 of them now, Reservoir Dogs and a few spares, settling in for the serious drinking, the gazing, grabbing and the talk, of sex and cars and money.

But the money talk is different now, more guarded, tighter lipped, no more jokes about huge losses recouped or not. Everyone is watching their back, keeping their head down, hanging onto their job. So, the money talk tonight will be different, they may even, god give him strength, fall into a drunken conversation on the ethics of greed, the morality of what they do with other peoples’ money.

The guys are ordering shots, an impossible quantity stacked up on a huge silver tray, Marc grabs two and downs them, bang and slams the glasses back on the table and it makes no difference at all.

He remembers his first ever roller coasater ride, age 11, maybe 12 and that terrible realisation that he was trapped, would have to deal with every stomach churning twist, dive, climb and would have to look as if he was enjoying it, would have to wave his hands in the air, when all he wanted to do was put his head between his knees and cling tightly to the grip bar.

He grabs another shot, downs it and to the bellowing encouragement of the guys, waves a folded 20 quid note at a girl on the stage and minutes later as she stradles him, all straightened hair and fake tan and too tidy breasts, he manages a grin of something that from far enough away looks like pleasure.


Imogen is quite right, the club is discreet, no name plate, no waiting line, just a neat black door and a neat black man. They are expected, ushered in, Clara smiles with pleasure, the level of fuss is just enough.
She looks around at the group of women – her hens, 3 bridesmaids, her sister, 2 work colleagues and the wives/partners, women she really doesn’t know at all, here because Marc is taking their other halves on his stag do.
It doesn’t matter, tonight is just part of the bigger event and these women are from this life,the city life and know how to behave, how to dress, how to party, carefully, still calorie mindfull, can be relied upon to drink enough, but not too much and to notice and accurately price her shoes, bag, jacket combo.

Her sister has been briefed
“Don’t call me Claire”
“Don’t mention mum”
“Don’t get drunk”

The club is busy, there is talk of champagne, but they settle for vodka and tonic, drunkeness while still hydrating.
her sister suggests a dance and there is a pause while the group look down, consider their shoes, Laboutin, Jimmy Choo and politely decline.
Instead they lounge on huge leather sofas, people wtaching, outfit watching really and Clara [ Claire] leans back, sips vodka and thinks about the journey and how much further she will travel with Marc.
She cannot wait to be married to him, cannot wait to be a wife, his wife.
She can see it now,their future, the apartment is too small, they need to trade up, give some parties, make some noise, get Marc back on track. She needs a newer car, the mini feels dated, less ironic, just , well, less cool.
The honeymoon will be the start, a boutique hotel in Miami, they will look at architecture, shops. She will re-wake the greed in him.


Marc is beyond drunk now, not helped by a cheeky line of coke snorted off the breasts of a dark haired girl who may or may not be called Angel. He is on some auto -pilot which only allows him to say yes, so when Stewart, ever compatent Stewart swoops them up and announces that the House of Pain awaits, Marc finds himself stumbling obediently out of the club and towards another night bus.
The night air is cold, not cold enough to sober him up, but enough to give him a jolt and he remembers that in 3 days time he is going to marry a woman whose face he cannot remember, but suddenly, very clearly, he can remember her facial expression when she leafs through interiors magazines, a look of such longing and wanting that to call it greed, avarice, seems simply unfair.
He knows what she wants and what he is expected to do and for a moment he thinks about sitting down with her, reaching out his hand and telling her about his dream, the life he wants to lead, his big plan and then remembers, he doesn’t have a big plan, doesn’t have a dream, just an over-powering desire to walk away from all this, the stupid hours, the stupid, stupid colleagues, the fear, the loathing, the waiting for the summons, the handshake and the walk to the lift.

And now he’s on another night-bus, the group is smaller now, another couple of casualties fallen by the wayside, just him and Stewart, of course, and a couple of guys, whose names he can’t quite, at this moment, remember and then the bus stops, some hold up and he looks out of the window and there she is Clara, standing, arms folded, shoulders hunched, while a driver is fiddling unconvincingly under the raised bonnet of a huge armour plated Humer.

And of course, they make eye contact and Marc wants, more than anything else, to form his face into some suitable expresssion and knows it isnt happening and then the bus lurches into movement and his last sight of her is her face, mouth open in an O of surprise or something else, staring up at him as the bus lumbers off into the last of the night.


It had all gone so well, the club had been perfect, they had spotted 2 Hollyoakes actors, a lesbian comedian and the that bloke who does the dangerous magic stuff.
Her sister had been over the moon, lots to tell in the scruffy little primary school staffroom on Monday morning and then, disaster.

They pile out of the club, little tipsy, little giggly, make up still bearing up, ready to head back to the hotel, jacuzzi, chill time and the Humer won’t start, won’t move, nothing.
The driver, choosen more perhaps for his South LA gangsta looks, than any actual mechanical ability is useless and Clara can feel it slipping away, any second now the other women are going to start suggesting cabs, making their way home, leaving her here on her own.
Her bloody sister has just suggested catching the night bus.
The fucking night bus.
And as she says it, one appears out of the dark, as if it has been summoned and Clara looks up and sees Marc, face pressed against the window, staring into the night. Clara tries to re-arrange her face, to look less angry and then realises that Marc has no expression on his face at all, she not even sure if he has seen her, recognised her and then the bus pulls away and her last sight of him is his face slipping slowly down the glass towards the floor.