baby’s got the bends…


after a busy shift for The Colloidal Company, a company i do website & photography work for, i boarded the 17:20hr #39 bus to visit my mother for dinner. she didn’t know i was arriving but i hoped it would be a sweet surprise. due to an assortment of ailments that comes with old age, she’s practically housebound and a prisoner of loneliness so a ‘drop in’ visit from her ‘baby’, should, make her smile.

the bus was fairly empty. but i chose a seat near the front, by a window.

sat opposite me is, quite possibly, the fattest man i have ever seen. his size leaves him no other option but to occupy two seats. but even at that there’s still large lurks of fat hanging over the side, drooping into the aisle. he looks like a blob of blubber, dissolving onto the gangway.

a young man of Asian descent was sat at the front of the bus, busy on his mobile phone tap-tapping away. the click-clicking sound, arhythmic, was strangely musical but irritating.

sat in front of me was a young man, possibly in his early 20s, in his working clothes. i quietly marvelled at how his face was the same colour as his sweater. beetroot. a ‘face like a well-skelpt erse’ as my father would have said.

a man with brassy, bleached blonde spiky hair is sat diagonally behind me. through his headphones, i could hear the faint crooning of Thom Yorke. Radiohead. ‘choice!’ i thought to myself. ‘the bends – one of my favourite albums of all-time.’

but by Christ, i felt like i had the bends. i felt nauseous, i had sore hips and a strange tingling in the fingertips of both hands.

today had been a slow dive- broken sleep and, maybe, i surfaced too early. too quickly. and i was running on empty.

the bus seemed to take a different route. i couldn’t recall it traversing St Clair street… maybe i was just confused.

the boy with the beetroot face alighted the bus on St Clair street and a toothless woman with long greasy hair boarded the bus and took his seat. she stared at me all the way to Glenrothes Bus Station, muttering beneath her breath some shit about Jesus. ‘maybe she’s praying for me.’ i thought. ‘maybe she’s speaking in tongues. maybe she’s just mad.’

the fattest man on earth began feeding his monstrous puffy face with a puff pastry pie. the whole pie. a pie if such proportions it could feed a family of four. suddenly, while eating he, loudly and unabashedly, passed wind. it sounded like the tearing of a bed sheet. ‘Jesus’ I thought. ‘better pray for him… poor cunt.’

maybe i was hallucinating. maybe all this existed only in my imaginarium… my own mind’s playground.

if only…

(c) Kat McDonald 2014


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