with just a lone gull for company, i waited under a fresh veil of April sky. i waited and i waited.

i waited for the 10.41 #38 to take me to Kirkcaldy. i waited and i waited.

when the sky is blue, and sun resplendent, the wait is easy.

the gull sat atop the bus stop sign, watching me with his beady eye, keen and hungry. i had nothing to offer him, save my company. he was watching me. i spoke to him: “good morning, Colin”

i named him Colin. it’s as good a name as any…

Colin cocked his head to the side, eyes fixed on me, listening to me. or perhaps he thought i was mad, perhaps he had no opinion. or, maybe, he had no thought at all.

“how are you today, buddy?” i asked. Colin continued to engage with me, cocking his head to the other side.

“i have nothing for you…” i said, apologetically.

Colin stretched out his wings, flapping them a little. he then craned his neck forward, his large, sharp, yellow beak agape, and let out a mournful cry.

“are you seeking rain?” i asked. he shook his head then flew off.

i watched him circle the sky above, soaring. he was beautiful. but he never said ‘goodbye’. maybe this was his way… with silent grace.

the bus arrived, late.

i sat behind an elderly couple.

outside, the sun was shining. i closed my eyes and drifted off – thinking how sweet it would be to have a vacation, in the sun, with my lover. the drone of the bus engine became that of an aeroplane; the view out the window turned from grey Tarmac to white cloud; my bus journey to Kirkcaldy became, in my mind’s eye and hopeful heart, a flight to Easter Island. cut adrift in the silent sunlight and my ‘day-dream’, the empty seat now occupied by my lover; and we escape together, in silence, free as birds.

my reverie is quashed when i am startled by the shrieks and chatter of a gaggle of loud women. They strutted up the aisle and sat in the seats at the back of the bus. they talked about dogs.

dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs.

“ma pal jist bought a shit zoo fae a boy fur 400 quid!”
“Ah want anither doag tae! ah miss ma Alfie”
“ma sister in law his wan o’ they giant poodles”
“Oh no!!! ah dinnae like poodles, they gie me the heeby jeebies!”
“aw naw… this wan’s no ugly – he’s goat a square face ‘n’ tha’, ken? She dyed his lugs pink ‘n’ his tail lilac – he’s awfy braw, like.”

their chattering seemed relentless and began to grate on my nerves. i swear one of them did not pause to draw breath. i sought solace in the open skies.

another lone gull. maybe it’s Colin. i watched as he soared, glided and danced on the thermal columns – just because he could. i felt a pang of envy and yearned for a time to stroll through a departure lounge with my lover.

again, the spell was broken as a woman let out a loud screech of laughter. the cluck of hens behind me were still clucking on about dogs.

dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs.

their voices, a shrill rabble of babble.

“naw. ye kin keep yer fuckin’ poodles, like. ah wint a real dug, like Billy’s. a wee Staffy cross or sumhing”
“oh no! am feart o’ they dugs- an’ they’re ugly n bandy leggit. thur heid’s look too big fur thur boadies tae”
“ah want a beagle. ah love thur wee short leggies n lang lugs!”
“Nah, you’re thinkin’ o’ Sponge Boab Square Pants!!!”

more shrieks of laughter… their voices bled into a complete din. a colourless noise.

the elderly couple remained silent. they had not uttered one word to each other in almost an hour. maybe their love is beyond words. i like that. i like the thought of being so comfortable in the presence of another that two souls can just ‘be’ together, in quiet accord.

i look at them and smile as i disembark the plane at Mataveri International Airport, with my lover.

(c) Kat McDonald 2014

– for Robert xx


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