the circus


the sky was dull as lead when i set out yesterday to catch a bus to work.  the air was icy cold; the March winds blew into my face with bitter scorn.  but, like the quick passing of the past months, i marched on.  regardless.

i boarded my bus and fumbled, with frozen and uncooperative fingers, for loose change in my purse and took a window seat next to the heater.  gradually, i felt  myself thaw out.

it was the 1st of March.  i pondered over how quickly the year is turning.  it’s not been a good start to the year and i have been plagued with illness – virus after virus.  however, i can feel myself getting better with each passing day.

but i hate this time of year.  i hate being cold.  it makes me tired and irritable.  my cells are solar-powered it would seem and i, literally, take ill with winter.  i wish i could hibernate until April – or fly south for the winter, like a goose.

the bus was busy.  everyone looked cold.  their faces were red and weather-beaten and anxious to get to their destination.  after a few moments, the engines fired up and we set off.  warm air billowing out around my feet was a true joy.  smiling, i looked out the window at the people remaining at the bus depot – waiting, huddled against the cold, for their chosen bus.  oh the joys of public transport.

“white rabbits!” a voice roared, out of the blue…  it seemed to be coming from inside my head.  surely not.

“white rabbits!”

“white rabbits!”

i looked around and a man, with a hunchback, was huddled in a seat to the rear of the bus.  he looked sheepishly at  me.

“white rabbits!” he said to me, with more conviction this time – as if i ought to know what he was referring to.

i turned back around and smiled to myself.  i’m not going crazy after all.

i looked out the window.  the sky remained unchanged; leaden and heavy.  snow was imminent.

“white rabbits!” “white rabbits!” “white rabbits!” said the hunchback – his voice now reaching fever pitch.

poor bastard.

the bus stopped on some side street in Kirkcaldy and twin girls boarded with their guardian.  they looked 8 years old and identical.  they wore their hair pigtails, in identical style.  they wore identical grey fluffy ear-warmers and held their hands deep inside their matching (and identical!) muffs.  they even wore the same red double-breasted coats and black boots.  they sat together and chatted in what i can only describe as “twinspeak”, something i have read about but not witnessed – until now.

“shoosh wi’ tha’ nonsense!” said their guardian.

they looked at each other and grinned.  there was something decidedly creepy about these girls.

“white rabbits!” the hunchback with Tourette’s continued.

i began to feel i was in a casting for a Terry Gilliam movie when a dwarf boarded at Victoria Hospital.  his helium voice spilled into the quiet bus like a fart at a party.  everyone went quiet, save for the occasional blurt of “white rabbits!” coming from the rear.

the dwarf waddled up the aisle and took the seat in front of me, opened his satchel and took out a copy of “50 Shades of Grey”, bookmarked with a long white feather.  i found it unusual for a man to be reading this pulp-porn and found his choice of bookmark equally as unusual.  he stuck the feather in his hat, while he read.  and he read aloud.

and loud.

something that should not be allowed.

i was relieved when the bus rolled into Glenrothes Bus Station and made a sharp exit.  i had had my fill of the circus, that is public transport, for one day.

public transport.  i may mock but it remains one of the best platforms to study human behaviour.

where would we be without it?

(c) Kat McDonald 2015


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