total eclipse of the heart


and there it was… one of the most incredible visions a person can see in their lifetime.  a solar eclipse.

i awoke early to find the sun and his friend, the moon, softly casting a queer light upon the world around me.  staring into the sun is not the brightest thing to do, but i did it anyway.  i felt overwhelmed at the beauty, and the infinite size and brilliance of our closest star.

a vision so beautiful, so perfect. my fascination with the sun has shadowed me for many years. i could not stop staring…

tears streaming down my face, i grappled with my iPhone camera to catch the crescent-shaped sundogs that sparked from its core.

my neighbour, Bob, is a (conveniently) retired welder.  he appeared from behind me, tapped me on the shoulder, offering me a pair of industrial goggles.

i put on the goggles.  suffice to say, still, words elude me.  the most beautiful sight. an unforgettable sight, literally, burned into my memory.  i sat, in awe, gazing into the sun for almost forty-five minutes.

my mind was blown. but my photos were crap. i should have used my DSLR. overwhelmed and under-prepared.

i returned inside the dusky coolness of my home to get ready for work.  i had a bus to catch in just under fifteen minutes.

beneath the re-emerging sun, i strode out to the nearest bus stop to catch my bus to north Glenrothes.

i boarded the bus and took up a window seat towards the rear of the vehicle, next to a heater.  despite the bright sunlight, it was cold.  i live near the sea.  winters, in my new habitat, are a cold affair, i have learned.

one stop in, a girl dressed in a football strip boarded the bus and sat two seats behind me, and immediately began talking on her mobile phone to her lover.  or should i say “former” lover.

the bus was busy.  everyone sat, in silence, listening to the girl’s conversation.  it was a heavy and uncomfortable silence.  i gazed out the window and tried to shut out her conversation, to eclipse her desperation and cloying annoyance.  but her voice was loud.

“but you mean thi’ wurld tae me” she would scream.

“ah dae hink ah could live wiffoot you… ah relay dinnae!”  she would weep.

“ah luv yoo”  she would swoon.

“am actual greetin’…. tears are rollin’ doon ma face as ah speak” she whined…

i heard a young man pipe up “no they’re no!”.

i glanced around. he was right. there were no tears, except the tears of exasperated and embarrassed fellow passengers.

the girl continued this conversation, at such an alarmingly unbearable volume, for the entire journey, that i began to admire her unabashedness.  for a whole thirty-nine minutes she talked and wailed, cried and flailed.

we all sat in silence. silenced by our own feelings of awkwardness and frustration. the uncomfortable silence was broken only with sighs, and whispered ‘tsks’ of contempt.

“yur breakin’ ma hairt” she discoursed.

by this time, the bus had completed its course. it too had completed its trajectory.

i watched, amused, as the girl swiftly exited the bus and threw her mobile phone in a nearby bin. everyone gasped and held their breath as we watched on…

“am binnin’ ye – ya basturd. you broke ma hairt oan the day o the eclipse – a day we should’o been taegether. it’s oor anniversary, ya cunt n tha’s the y ye treat mi? yur dumpin’ mi? is tha’ right? is tha’ it then?

am actual binnin’ ye…” she roared, at the rubbish bin.

i slung my bag over my shoulder and stepped off the bus, offering her a smile of condolence on the passing.

total eclipse of the heart

“thanks hen… ma boyfriend’s a dick. my hairt’s broken. a totull eclipse o’ the hairt here thi day, likes!” she said, shrugging her broad shoulders, turning around as if looking for someone to help her.

my head was spinning, but i shrugged it off with caffeine.

i needed to needle that coffee.

(c) Kat McDonald 2015

image source: unknown. apologies.


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