“bouncing out of the freaking roar” by Julia at her desk

Sunday October 27, 2019
8:36pm
5 minutes
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
Tom Wolfe

On the bus, I’m on the bus, I’m wailin’
watch me wail, mamma, watch me wail, darlin’
And the whole bus bumpity bumpity bump bumps
and the whole bus hummitty hummity hum hums
and the whole bus shakes and rattles and roars
and it roars
it roars out the windows and back again
it drills out orders and broken conventions
it figures it out as if there were nothing
to figure out and the whole bus, the whole bus
it’s rip roaring, out the roar, bouncing
and it’s ripppppp roaring with the handles
flicked free, they’re all flicked free and our
faces are all flicked freeeee
as an eagle song, free as an eagle bird bouncing
bouncing in and out of the bus, the bus, the whole bus
With the pick me ups and the bring me downs we’re
all back and around, top, bottom, back and around
the whole thing
the whole bus is the proverb, the journey, the taste
the medicine, the magic, the metaphor, the mooooooon
the whole moon is the whole bus and we’re riding the
waves, the tides in and out and the moonie moon moon is
pulling us a stop in the woods, a stop on this bus in
the woods so we can see ourselves in the reflection
the reflecty flec flection, the easy beezy buzzzy
was he…..was he….was he on the bus? was he on
the bus or on the moon? Or in the mOOn or in the MooN
was he us he or is he thus we are all the moon and
the bus and the big beautiful glowing dream of a thing
watch me wail mamma, on the bus, i’m wailin’
watch me whale, whaley wail WAIL

“The vast majority of people don’t want to do anything physical” by Julia on the 4

Wednesday July 17, 2019
5:16pm
5 minutes
Overhead on the 4

People this and people that and man I’m with you but then again no I am not

I was with you a year ago
Everything I was a year ago was with you

I wanted to bitch and moan about anything I could wrap my tongue around

I wanted to hate everyone and everything because that made it easier to accept that I wasn’t going to be perfect either

The opposite, really

I wasn’t willing to accept myself in any shape or form so who got my shit talking?

The girl in the alley with her shorts riding her butt crack all the way to next Thursday

The guy bringing his yippy dog into the glasses shoppe and refusing to remove him

The baby crying on the plane

I don’t feel good about that last one but it’s the truth, alright, and that’s something worth clinging too

Nobody can drive
Nobody listens
Nobody cares about their bodies these days
All generalization and no examination
All avoidance and no allowance
All them them them against me me me

But I was against me by being against them

These are things I’ve learned

“You know you got the wrong ticket” by Julia on the Megabus

Saturday May 11, 2019
10:47am
5 minutes
Said to me by the bus driver

When mistakes are made it is often a result of lack of sleep, fury, or living in a dream.
I know this because I have made choices in all of these a scenarios and mistakes occurred.
I have been lucky to have kind people make room for my mistakes. They understand humans do this because likely they’ve done this.
Mistakes can be made and the outcome can stay the same.
That is when gratitude comes in. That is when I practice my thank you on the ride so the driver knows how much good he did by making room for my mistake.
In this instance, making the mistake did not hurt anybody.
It did not change the outcome.
It did, however offer perspective in the form of mild surprise and embarrassment.
It reminded me to be awake before making choices.

“staring into the eyes of a giant wasp” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday March 14, 2019
6:20pm
5 minutes
Micro
Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

Man gets on my bus and he smells like piss and oil. “Morning,” I say and he leans in close and shows me his teeth.

“Gotta get to the teeth doc!” Looks like it’s been awhile.

“Take a seat, and we’ll be on our way,” I say. The old lady sitting close moves a few seats back, bringing a handkerchief to her nose. In the rearview mirror I see several people scowl.

“Gotta get to the teeth doc!” My man says again.

I drive because it’s an honourable job. People are always gonna have places to get to. I like my current route. I’m thinking to ask about staying on it for awhile.

End of the line. Man’s still there. He’s fallen asleep.

“Get that money get that cash!” By Julia on the 99

Thursday March 29, 2018

6:20pm

5 minutes

From a text

I think it’s funny when you ride a bus facing the wrong way and you think you can talk on the phone with nobody hearing you. As if it gives you the superpower of being invisible.

I also think it’s funny when you try to write on a bus facing the wrong way and your stomach starts to swivel and you can feel it in your temples. Hilarious. Ha ha. Great joke.

I’ve been wondering about the money. About the funny money on the bus. The coins. The lost dimes. The people all huddled at the back too cool to tap in with their bus pass. Too cool says the sunglasses hiding the eyes too worried about being caught. The heart jumps around in there when you think it might be the last time it gets to. Isn’t it funny when you have no money and you have to pay the $250 fine because you didn’t pay the money? Hilarious. Ha ha.

I think it’s funny when the person behind you has the voice of a machete and thinks they’re also invisible.

“children dawdling to school” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday February 3, 2018
9:04am
5 minutes
Prazeres
K.V Skene

You forget what you came into the kitchen for. You don’t think much of it. These things happen. You have been working long days. It’s taking it’s toll.

You put the sponge in the freezer. You know that you have one and you can’t find it. This pisses you off. You scream swear. You’ll go for the frozen bananas tomorrow morning when it’s time for a smoothie. There it is. Frozen solid. Shit.

You forget why you got on the bus, and where you’re supposed to be going. Your heart sinks. You wonder if this is what happened with your mother, and her mother, and her mother before her. You wonder if you should’ve eaten more broccoli, less sugar. You wonder if this is your destiny, riding the bus across the bridge unsure when to get off.

“Get me the hell off this bus” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Saturday September 16, 2017
9:45pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

“Get me the hell off this bus!!!!”

“Open the back door, please.”

“Driver, open the back door!”

Bang bang bang on the window and finally the driver stops and he doesn’t open the back door. He walks towards the back, past baby carriage and a printer in a box and a very fat man with a very kind face and children holding onto their parents’ hands and a woman in a leapord print shirt drinking a grapefruit juice box.

“What’s going on back here?”

“That was my stop! That was my stop! Now I’ve missed my stop!”

“Calm down please, or I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

“Get me the hell off this bus” by Julia on the 99

Saturday September 16, 2017
6:37pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 99

a man with a plant sits beside me
he smashes his book bag into my arm
I almost hit it
he says sorry
I’m like oh my god no worries
I take a second to remember
nothing is personal
because nothing even matters
Hmmmm haaaww Jim Carey Jim Carey
The man with the plant gets off the bus
then a woman with a plant sits beside me
I do not hit her
I don’t want to disturb her Instagram video of her new plants
maybe this video will be her big break
and make her famous
I remember I have plants too
but they’re a bit sunburnt
and I keep forgetting to water them
and maybe if I just made an Instagram video of them on the bus
next to a woman who keeps forgetting to water her plants, I would have my big break too
I can hear everything and nothing
well not nothing
the man behind me gags in my ear
the man beside him laughs

“kindergarten registration” by Sasha at a coffee shop on Dunbar


Thursday June 22, 2017
4:38pm
5 minutes
From a sign

This woman on the bus rides in a motorized wheelchair. She’s beautiful. She looks like Nicole Kidman and Helena Bonham Carter had a lovechild and gave her even better hair and eyes. She has a little dog on her lap. Cute, shaved down so it looks like it has a lion’s mane. We all watch – rapt – as she wheels into her spot (people cleared the way). As the bus starts to drive onwards, she takes a ziplock bag of something indistinguishable out of a bag in the basket that’s on the front of her wheelchair. She eats it, or, rather, she chews it and spits it out into her hand and tries to feed it to her dog. He doesn’t want it.

“As Elizabeth lost” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday March 7, 2017
5:07pm
5 minutes
Lives Lived
The Globe and Mail


Elizabeth. Forty seven, but she tells people she’s “on the cusp of forty”. Tall, taller than most at least, six feet and three inches, to the chagrin of her mother. No, she doesn’t play basketball. No, she doesn’t want to join your rep volleyball team that plays every other Wednesday in the gym on the university campus across town that smells like Smart Food. Elizabeth just lost her job, and now she’s sitting at the bus stop, a small tupperware box on her lap. Contents: pink sticky notes, three uni-ball pens, a framed photo of Henry, her ginger three-legged cat, and a small cactus that she hasn’t watered since 2013 and magically is still alive and well. She’s worked as a copywriter at Cityscape News for twelve years. “We’re going digital,” her boss Kenton, who looks like a bulldog, had said. “We’re streamlining…” He’d smiled his way through the “evaluation”, as though something, unknown to Elizabeth, was funny. She knew that she had one of those expressionless faces. She liked to think of it as “Mona Lisa-like”. She knew that others thought of it as “rude”.

“The Toy Box Burlesque” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday January 9, 2016
11:36pm
5 minutes
from a show postcard

There you were
all smoke and chapped lips
all donuts in the parking lot
all smelling of the past
There you were
on the bus going downtown
the bridge on stilts
people in their advent calendar windows
There you were
a toy box of our songs
a jack in the box of maybe
that flipped over and broke it’s springs
There you were
almost not seeing me
but then seeing me
and saying
Hello
Nice to see you
Where are you going
I’m sorry
I’m sorry
Nevermind
I should go
This is my stop
Shit
I should go
Fuck you
I’m sorry
I’m sorry

“Can’t wait to share” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday January 8, 2016
6:42pm
5 minutes
From a card

If I bought you a chicken
you’d have fresh eggs for life
If I gave you a machete
you’d never need a knife
If I made you a tea
you’d soothe your sore throat
If I knit you a sweater
you wouldn’t need a coat
If I fried you an egg
you’d have a full belly
If I put on the peanut butter
you’d spread out the jelly
If I gave you my heart
you’d never want for a thing
If I gave you a ukulele
you’d just have to sing
If I found us a mutt
you’d name it Earl or Gus
And we’d walk everywhere
and never have to ride the bus

“Did I miss the theatre?” by Julia on the 99


Tuesday December 20, 2016
7:22pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

Frankie and Mel were sitting on the bus in their vintage coats, fur framing their curls and red lips pursed from the cold. Frankie told Mel that she was going to break all the hearts, maybe more than she usually did with her hair like that. Mel told Frankie that it didn’t matter who else was there as long as Donald saw her. Frankie warned Mel not to get her hopes up that Donald would be there. He hadn’t been in town much on account of work and his brother Laird was busy taking over the shop, which he conveyed to Frankie the other day when she went in to buy better soil. Mel told Frankie that she knew he wouldn’t but couldn’t she just let her have that moment suspended in time?

“Could have walked by now” by Julia on the 2 bus


Sunday December 4, 2016
7:58pm
5 minutes
overheard on Burrard street

I’ve been waiting for a bus for a whole year. No that is not hyperbole. I would never exaggerate. I have been standing in this spot for 365 days waiting. My life has passed me by. My heart has pumped as many times as it should in a year. 50 million times. That is accurate. I felt each one. I remember each one. No that is not hyperbole. I’ve waited and I’ve stood. I didn’t want to miss it if it came. The bus that would take me from Here to There and finally give me the peace I’ve been after. Every time I checked the schedule it said the bus was coming in one minute. One minute is not long. I waited for one minute 500 000 times. Of course that is not hyperbole. Every moment I stood there I considered myself a little better. A little more. I know myself in this context of waiting better than I know myself in other contexts, such as running, or laughing. People passed me by and no one spoke to me. Not one person. They either assumed that I had already gotten my bus and travelled to a place and back by now all in time to do it all over again. No one thought to say, oh you, you’re here today as well? How are you? Do you have to go far?

“If you have already completed” by Julia on the 99


Saturday May 14, 2016
5:39pm
5 minutes
The Canadian Census

So I walk on the bus and there’s a woman in a jean ball cap flipping through flyers and ripping out coupons. She’s sitting by the window, taking up two seats to do this and there’s nowhere for me to sit. So I say, very politely, excuse me may I sit there? And she grumbles to herself and then instead of moving her papers off the aisle seat, she moves herself over and makes me climb over her to get to the window. I’m already miffed, but then the bus jolts and I go flying into her flyers which makes her grumble even more. I make it a point not to say I’m sorry. If I don’t say anything I can’t say anything mean either, right? Then she moves herself to another seat near by, and she keeps clicking her tongue like she can’t believe “this person” and “this person” is clearly me, even though I’m just on my phone writing a grocery list for later. Then she moves herself again to a completely different seat, complaining to the woman beside her that I’m going to give her cancer for being on my phone near her!

“a pair of black overalls and some scrunchies” by Julia at Matchstick Coffee Roasters


Monday November 16, 2015 at Matchstick Coffee Roasters
2:02pm
5 minutes
Julia’s diary
Age 10


I can’t drink anything without it spilling it all over myself. Eating too, but drinking mostly. I’ve had this problem since I was a kid. I remember sitting on the yellow bus in the fourth grade, going home after school, and eating vanilla yogurt while talking to the older kids sitting in front of me. I didn’t even realize I was doing it, but found out soon enough thanks to Lisa Van Oorschot who suddenly shrieked out at the top her lungs, “Amanda! Your sister just slopped yogurt all over herself!” The bus filled with cruel laughter and I went red and felt young and stupid and careless. I’ll never forget how thrilled Lisa was at the sight of me, sitting there embarrassed and completely ready to cry. I haven’t exactly grown up in that department. I can’t drink water without wearing most of it, regardless of the type of cup or bottle it’s in. It’s like my mouth refuses to adapt to glassware, turning me into a wild lion quenching my thirst at the watering hole.

“Eye Candy” By Julia in Brooklyn


Thursday, July 30, 2015
12:33am
5 minutes
From a shop in NYC

I waited at the bus stop for you. I looked up a couple new words on my dictionary app: Ubiquitous, Saurian, Apothegm. You were running late, which was usual, and I was early, which was not. I thought of ways to use my new words on you. I thought maybe you’d think I was smart. But then I realized I didn’t just want you to think I was, but know I was. I wanted you to know that I have two degrees and a killer vocabulary. I work at stuff. I didn’t want there to be any doubt about it. Some guy walked close to me and whistled right in my ear. I pointed up at the “No cat calling” sign right above us and then I formed a gun with my fingers and shot him.

“Are you free” by Julia on the 47 going north


Tuesday, April 7, 2015
11:57pm
5 minutes
From a text message

Are you free of your anger and your blame? Or do you curse at the passing bus who forgot to show you compassion and pick you up even though you were waiting just two feet too wrong to board? Are you free of your expectations and your disappointment? Or do you wonder why some people operate on a different level than you do? I’m a bit of Column A, little of Column B. I ask these questions because I’m half hoping you’ll say no and half hoping to hear you say yes. Solidarity. For one. And inspiration for two. Cause I’m not there yet. Cause I really want to be but I don’t know how to to find it. Are they already inside? The releasing agents? The ones that set my mind and heart and soul free of all their burdens? For this one I hope you say yes yes yes so I can stop with these excuses.

“Choosing what is important for her” by Julia on the 504 going west


Friday March 27, 2015
1:08am
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

When Andrea lifted her head from steering wheel she didn’t know where she was. She didn’t know that she had just crashed her cream coloured Toyota corolla into a city transit bus, inhibiting 50 people from getting to work on time, or to school, or to the first job interview the two or three people were able to secure since getting back on their feet. She felt her stomach doing summersaults, regretting in that instant her choice to consume only spicy salami cut up into thick round chunks for breakfast. She saw smoke all around her and thought it was only a dream; the rising and falling of a dragon’s breath, heating his layer and keeping himself warm in his cave.

“nothing has ever summed me up so succinctly” by Sasha on the number 3 bus


Saturday March 7, 2015
6:24pm
5 minutes
from a caitlinjstasey Instagram post

Nothing has ever summed me up so succinctly
The tickle tickle throat of the morning after
The flowers out of their water
On the floor
Beside the table

When I found my father’s secrets
I decided that I’d rather
eat a bag of chips
and make eyes at tall men in bars

It’s lonely here in the biggest city
in the biggest world
Bread rots but not the way that you think it might
The bus lurches and sputters like a drunk frat boy
Forget-me-knot
tied around a waist of the one I was before I became
before I became

“2 hours or longer” by Sasha in lecture


Tuesday January 27, 2015
12:30pm
5 minutes
the Air Canada cafe booklet

How to hold a stranger’s hand

Sitting on the bus
Minding your own headphones
You watch the rain make caterpillars
on the window.

A woman sits beside you
A purple poncho dripping droplets
on your leg

Disgruntled
you look
Sideways
You wonder if she’s crying or if she’s just your age
You cross the divide of leg touching

You take her hand

She pulls away but not
completely
She looks like a damp version of you
only a little in the future

Friend

The water’s calm
Or
Maybe it’s just the Bay
You sit on one of twelve big logs
You wonder if they’ve been here tripe the time
that you have

A man
walking a small dog
who barks at the gulls
He sits
Not near enough to reach
But near enough for you to know

You go to him
Five
Six steps

You take his hand

He smiles
He calls the name of his dog
loud enough for only you to hear

“made with real almonds” by Sasha on the 25 towards Main St.


Thursday January 15, 2015
6:29pm
5 minutes
from the Earth’s Own Almond Milk carton

Hmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmm. Hm.

This bus this bus is chock-a-block full of elbows and parted hair.

Hmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmm. Hm.

This bus is all almond skin and raspberry kissy lips.

Hmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmm. Hm.

Going to a little spot to tell a story and sing a song.

Hmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmm. Hm.

Neither are mine. I’m borrowing!

Hmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmm. Hm.

The stories I share. They are half mine.

Hmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmm. Hm.

The song belongs to my sister.

“word by word” by Sasha on the 16 towards Downtown


Monday January 12, 2015
5:13pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Isabel Allende

Forgive me Father for I have sinned
I ate my juice
With a spoon
In a bowl
Because I just wanted to chew something
I wanted to pretend it wasn’t liquid
Three days is a long time
Three days is a lot of beets and oranges and kale
I feel good, yeah
Father, I feel good
I feel clear
My eyes are less murky I feel
I feel like there’s something lifted
You know?
And it’s not just the satisfaction of saying you’re gonna do something and actually doing it

“the waiting place” by Sasha on the bus


Tuesday January 6, 2015
1:56pm
5 minutes
from An Incomplete Manifesto For Growth
Bruce Mau


The mountains are back
They never left
But I forgot that
They can’t move
Like we can
They are there come hell or wild fire or high water
They are there through it all
All of it
Can you imagine?
I see them now though
Through the trees
White-tipped and relaxed
Nothing to prove
A January hymn plays
Quietly
Wanting more of me than I want to give
The sun is sinking tired
Soup waits

“you can see a musical” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday December 13, 2014
7:14am
5 minutes
Top 10 London

When you go to New York, you can see a musical. It’ll be your first one. Make sure you wear a really nice something something. They can tell you’re a tourist but you don’t want to give us Canadians a bad name, right? A good place to start is Phantom of the Opera. Something by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Masquerade! Paper faces on parade! Masquerade!
If I were feeling stronger, I’d go with you, but I don’t think I’m up to that city anymore. The first time I went, Marjorie and I took a bus. It took over fifteen hours. At the border they sent dogs on and we were so scared our fingers were shaking. Someone on that bus had dope in their bag and the dogs went crazy, barking and panting. Marjorie almost fainted. But… We made it. And when we had a drink at the Waldorf Astoria I turned to her and said, “I never want to go home.”

“you either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.” by Sasha on her couch


Monday November 24, 2014
9:17pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Charles Bukowski

In the darkness, it’s quiet. He takes off his blue suit, piece by piece, and if anyone were watching they might’ve thought it looked like a dance. Choreographed. The pants, draped over a wood hanger. The belt removed and hung on the hook in the closet. The vest, left on the back of the chair, a small white mark on the pocket to be dealt with later. The shirt, unbuttoned, slowly, and hung beside it’s brothers and sisters, all in a row. The sound of the bus going by. Undershirt. He looks at himself in the mirror. He think’s he looks younger with the new haircut, better with the bit of stubble. He smiles at himself. It’s the first time he’s done that.

“1 Eastside” by Julia at the motel in Thunder Bay


Friday June 13, 2014
10:56pm
5 minutes
The front of a bus in Sault Ste. Marie

We ended up taking a bus to a reserve somewhere with a sign that read “Gravel River Motel: Food, Gifts, Amethyst”. I didn’t realize how important amethyst was, but it happened to be my birthstone so I was intrigued enough to go in. We talked to the shop owner for at least 10 minutes, him asking me how I found myself here and me asking him why he was selling amethyst like cigarettes. He told me that I was here now and that’s all that mattered. I bought two or three of his little sacks filled with the stuff. I said, Thanks, I’ll give one of them to my sister when I see her next. Then we waved to him as we left the shop and wondered out loud if that entire experience was one we had dreamed up or one that truly transpired. I thought about the shop-owner later that night as I laid on the motel bed, counting the times the guy in the room next to ours, separated by a paper thin wall, said “Please” to his girlfriend or lover or something like that.

“he had heard on the phone” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday February March 2 2014
12:02am
5 minutes
The Murder Room
P.D James


That Margaret would be late, that she’d sprained her ankle played dodge ball and was taking the later bus. He felt his heart sink a little, because he didn’t want to miss out on a single moment with her. Louise’s voice sounded strained, but that wasn’t anything new. “I can’t drive her because I’m going to the Opera,” she said. “Okay,” he responded, wishing that they lived closer, wishing that he hadn’t gotten that DUI so that he could pick her up himself. “She’s got a book report due on Tuesday so you’re going to have to help her with finishing the reading. She’s slow.” Louise was distracted, he heard loud thuds. “What are you doing?” He asked. “Chopping parsnips. Why?” She said. “Margaret should really stay off her leg so maybe you should send a taxi to get her at the station?” “I always do,” he yawned. “Am I boring you, Gus?” He chose not to answer that. “Is she eating whole wheat bread?” “It’s not up to her. She eats what we give her. We’re her parents. We guide her…” He rolled his eyes and said, “Okay, Louise. I should go.”

“Atlantic Ave.” by Julia on the 594 going east


Wednesday January 15, 2014
6:05pm
5 minutes
the 504 stop announcement

Darling where have you been? I’m sitting here under the weeping willow with a blanket and a bottle of wine concealed in an orange juice jug! I could have made sangria! I should have made sangria! You are very late which is unlike you. Ever since I’ve known you you’ve been almost annoyingly on time. Punctuality is always listed first on your resumes or in job interviews. You arrive early because you do not like to keep people waiting. I arrive late because I don’t like doing the waiting! It’s very selfish. And smart, you can give me that! Today I wonder if you’ve forgotten about me and our date? I wonder if you got held up on the bus. I wonder if you hurt your leg running to meet me. I wonder if you are purposefully late because you have a little shiny surprise in a little red box and you need the reveal to be even more dramatic because I tend to get overly excited about everything. It’s been a long time. I will never leave this spot, so don’t worry. Take your time and when it’s right, you will come to me.

“documenting, communicating” by Julia at the CSI Coffee Pub


Wednesday November 13, 2013
10:42am
5 minutes
25 Insights on Becoming a Better Writer
Jocelyn K. Glei


Corinne and her baby brother, Emilio, were standing at the bus stop–well, Emilio was not standing, but sitting more so on Corinne’s hip and playing with the gold chain around her neck. She was careful to watch him so he wouldn’t pull off the ‘C’ that hung near her cleavage.
Emilio, according to most, was an accident baby as he had been born 20 years after Corinne. She didn’t think of him like that…A happy accident if any.
Corinne was the only one who seemed to care for little Emilio as her mother was away for weeks at a time attending to “business” which really just meant “business men”. Corinne wasn’t even convinced that her and Emilio had the same father. Her mother was not one to kiss and tell so everyone was always just left guessing.
Corinne was on her way, with unintentional offspring in tow, to meet Carla, her friend from high school who said she had some very important news.

“She snapped the shutter” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Saturday October 12, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
6:17pm
5 minutes
from the 2011 Toronto Star article ‘American Girl still walking tall’
Murray White


Cher was waiting at the bus stop dressed like a boy because it was Thursday. She was waiting to see the driver she had grown accustomed to riding with on her usual morning route to school. Maybe she should have brought an umbrella today, she wondered to herself, even though the skies were quite clear and the forecast showed no signs of rain. Cher couldn’t have been bothered to regret things so she put the thought out of her mind and into the big bubble she was making with her gum. Today, she thought, she would ask the driver his name and maybe tell him hers. He was always very nice to her, letting her ride without paying, or just asking her about her day on the days she still dropped in the proper fare. She wondered if his name ended in an O, an R, or an L. She was usually right about things like that. She was usually right about birthdays and weight-guessing as well. Cher stood there waiting and ready when all of a sudden she felt a tiny raindrop bounce off her head.

“you fit the part” by Sasha on the Lansdowne bus


Sunday , August 11, 2013
11:12pm
5 minutes
from a thank you card from a friend

I am sitting on the bus. It’s late, not the witching hour but late enough that there’s a tickle of tired in everybody’s eyes. A man is slumped in a solo seat. He is asleep. There’s a baby carriage near him, with a sleeping boy, two or three. They both sleep. It’s peaceful and disturbing. When the bus starts to pull away, the carriage goes lurching forward. I gasp. I put my foot out to stop it, I grab at the side. The boy doesn’t wake. Neither does the man. “Uh…” I say, mostly to the bus driver, a little to the woman with a shaved head sitting across from me reading her Kindle. I want to take the boy out of the carriage and sing to him, I want to adopt him, I want to start his university fund. The man sleeps. The bus driver tries to rouse him, unsuccessfully. “Is he drunk?” I ask. “No,” says the driver, matter-of-fact. “He’s sad.” I don’t ask how the driver knows this man is sad, perhaps there is a code of understanding reserved for those that encounter people day-in-day-out of all corners of this city. Perhaps it’s a “guy” thing. He’s sad. He’s sleeping. He’s sad. Okay. I get down on my knees and put the lock on the wheel of the stroller.