There is more to your driver than meets the eye – On the Night bus – 17


There is more to your driver than meets the eye.
Look carefully, look beyond the perma press shirt, the company tie, the faint hint of tobacco from illicit smoke breaks.
Look beyond the graying face, eyes tight with exhaustion.

This one got home at 6am, walked his son to school, toddler on his shoulders, crowing with delight and then watched the boy, his first born, play a shakey version of silent night on an almost tuned piano and felt for one second as though he would burst, burst right open,in front of all the other parents, with pride and love.

This one is waiting for the world to end, waiting with a quiet certainty.
Sometimes he hopes that rapture will happen right here, right now, at 2, 3 in the morning, the bus rowdy, packed to the rafters with sinners.
And in his mind, he sees himself and the bright red bus floating into the sky while unbelievers drop from the windows, fall out of the door and he is left in silence and white light.

This driver is trying not to lose the magic from last night’ dream. She wants to close her eyes, rest her head against the steering wheel.
in her dream she is sitting on the wooden roundabout in the scrappy patch of mud and grass and broken bottles and used condoms in front of the flats and she is looking at the unicorn who is unsurprisingly bathed in moon light. She stretches out her hands to reach him, his eyes consider her and just as she is convinced that he will step forward and that she will be able to bury her face in his coat, she wakes and finds herself crying into her pillow.

This one has been learning Esperanto from a book he found when the library closed down.
He has started writing poetry and translating it slowly and probably badly into his new half grasped language.
He wants to lie in bed and read these poems to his wife, secure that no-body he has ever met, will ever meet will have any idea of what he has written and this knowledge frees him, allows him to pour out a litany of love and desire to the woman who has shared his bed for 27 years.

This driver knows that when he dies that he will, finally, be re-united with every dog he has lost.
The after life holds no fears now and he has left instructions that the leads of Mungo and Badger and Molly, kept safe at the back of the cutlery drawer, should be buried with him.
Death seems quite welcome now.

This one has posted her photograph on an inter-net dating site.
The photograph, heavily edited, bears almost no relation to her every day appearance and she is terrified that someone she actually knows, in this real world, another driver, an ex-husband, will want to meet her.
she wonders if it is too late to pull the profile.

This driver is loosing a custody battle to see his son.
He has bought a superhero costume.
He has talked, late at night, to other angry men.
He knows once he takes action, that there will be no going back.

This one weighs herself 3 times every day.
She would like to stop, but doesn’t know how.

And this driver

And this driver

And this driver

There is more to your driver than meets the eye.
Look carefully, look beyond the perma press shirt, the company tie, the faint hint of tobacco from illicit smoke breaks.
Look beyond the graying face, eyes tight with exhaustion.

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About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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