i watched dusk fall soft upon a sea of tranquility at Leven’s Shorehead as i waited for the 21:37hrs bus to Glenrothes.

i boarded the bus, alone.

the heat was stifling. gazing out the window, i could see the graceful long sails of the wind turbine as it stood tall and tethered to the ground; looking as tired as the town itself.

the sky was like zinc; overcast with milky grey clouds.

as we drove past Institution Row, i looked up to see the last of the sunset. a pale and washed-out orange. even the sun looked tired.

and i feel tired. tired, but infinitely happy and dancing inside. i had left a place full of smiles, love and music. my lover’s kiss still moist on my mouth. his singing voice still resonating in my head and heart.

[caught in a daydream]

a young family board the bus on the outskirts of town; their pretty little boy in a pushchair. he stares at me and yawns, drawing his tiny fist to his mouth. he is tired. his parents look exhausted. they sit in silence. the father, stares into middle-distance; the mother, gazing down at her mobile phone. the little boy rubs his eyes and smiles at me.

it is warm. the heat is stifling and makes me feel groggy. the air is thick and laced with exhaust fumes. it is difficult to breathe.

the bus rumbles through the countryside. i look out the window and see the tireless stretch of road ahead.

we pass by a graveyard. an angel, with head bowed, stands in silence. a lonely vigil silhouetted against the sweating sky.

Markinch train station sits in desolation. no sign of life. the streets are empty. we turn a corner.

a group of smokers gather outside a Hotel creating more clouds to an already leaden sky.

still, we rumble on. no other sign of life.

the child has fallen asleep. his mother fondly strokes his forehead, mopping tiny beads of sweat. she smiles down on him, another angel. another vigil.

everyone is silent. the sounds and smell of the engine fills the space. i feel congested and nauseous. my stomach flips.

the street lights of Glenrothes stoically ignite the road ahead, one by one, as we drive by. a yellow glow. they too seem pale and tired.

i alighted at Glenrothes Bus Station and find i have 20 minutes to wait for my connection home. so i sit and wait.

the bus terminus is terminally quiet.

the young couple, with their sleeping child, are also waiting for a connection. they stand at Stance 5. she still remains transfixed by her mobile phone; he stands with his arms folded across his chest. the child remains asleep in his pushchair- his little head has fallen forward, his chin rests upon his tiny chest.

the streetlights pick up and begin to burn with renewed impetus.

a bearded man strides past me, chomping on a bag of chips, nodding as he passed me by. he leaves a scent of vinegar in his wake.

a small flock of oyster-catchers fly overhead. their cry distinctive and haunting.

eleven minutes to wait.

it is warm despite the lack of life.

the town is quiet, with little sign of life, seemingly exsanguinated.

i feel tired, starved of oxygen, from the bus ride from Leven.

i wait for my bus home. it is 22:22hrs. my connection is due any minute now.

my bus arrives on time and i watch, in wonder, as a queue of people throng to board the bus. they seemed to appear out of nowhere, like zombies. they shuffle forward, tired yet orderly.

as i get up off my bench to board the bus, a young man of 15 or 16 with too much swagger and testosterone in his walk and an adolescent crack in his voice, sidles up to me:

“you’re totally pretty. where are you going?”
“home” i replied.

he kicked the ground and bit down on his bottom lip:

“can i come home with you? make love to you?” he begged.
“no!” i replied, smiling in disbelief. he wasn’t backwards in coming forwards.

“well…! you just broke ma heart- i hope you know!” he shouted after me, his voice breaking, galvanising my estimation of his tender age.

i joined the queue and boarded the bus.

night was quickening when i alighted the bus and wearily walked home, humming a Michael Jackson tune…

(c) Kat McDonald 2014


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