and so… the sun is shining, dispersing and diluting vapour trails to faint white misty streaks in an otherwise vast expanse of blue.
i find myself back at Glenrothes Bus Station. people are still shuffling around, waiting for their chosen bus to take them elsewhere. the sun is high and the people seem manic. me? oh, i just want to get back to where i was. back home.
i daydream. i ponder the lives of others; who are these people i see shuffling around me. i think of Joyce.
“Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves.”
smiling, my thoughts return to my lover: “Love loves to love love…”
i board the #38 to take me on this short journey. this is no odyssey.
the bus is busy, packed full of people. people heading on their way, to where i do not know. i ponder life.
the sun slams through the window and warmly glances my face. i close my eyes and enjoy the brevity of calm as the sun splits the trees, casting kaleidoscopic patterns in my mind’s flickering eye. it’s a pleasant trip.
i detune. the soft murmur of chattering mouths seems to fall away. i hear the engine and envy its impetus. the bus seems equally eager to reach its destination. it revs and shudders as it pulls away, gathering speed; and whines and hisses as it grinds to a halt. i surface from my daydream and look outside, squinting in the bright light.
five more stops and i will be home.
the man in front of me has greasy, silver hair. in his liver-spotted hand, he holds a copy of Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’. i, too, own a copy of this literary masterpiece – but his copy is in Braille.
oh to feel these words…
“oh Joyce” i think to myself “where are you taking me today?”
as i stand up to alight at my stop, the bus negotiates the roundabout in fourth gear and i am momentarily thrown off balance. i quickly catch myself, trying not to step on the paw of the blind man’s eyes. the dog, however, a black Labrador, nonplussed by my incoordination, merely raises an eyebrow and watches me, quizzically.
as if in the bloom of a dream, i smile at the dog and alight the bus.
“Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home…”
love will prevail. love is not blind.
(c) Kat McDonald 2014
excerpts borrowed from James Joyce (1882-1941): Ulysses (1922)