This is all fiction, obviously.
The bus home is packed. I stand near the door and see my own tiredness multiply, hewn into the faces of the sagging, indeterminate crowd. We are all squinting, with heavy lids and foul breath and the ache of responsibility right between our ribs. Caught between destinations, we are relapsing into stupor, cast down and as stupid as the cattle they move to the meat market. Even the rain is uninspiring; wordlessly we prepare our umbrellas, unwrap ourselves from our iPhones and our problems and our blank, drooling contemplation.
This would be me except I am typing away, provoked by a mundanity that both chills and appeals. It’s a comfortable unpleasantness; all day I’ve been looking at mistakes made by other, more careless, more carefree people, and tomorrow I will do the same. It keeps me in credit but has me standing at the traffic lights, playing chicken with the outward two step.
What if, who knows, why not?
This morning I stood two feet from a car accident and watched it unfurl like a scene from a play. Sure, I pitied the student in the backseat with his bloody nose blossoming into a playground story and his unwilling, adolescent tears. But there was an ocean upon me, an immovable, liquid heaviness casting deep blue shadows across the burning, speckled wreckage of the road. And the more I walked, the more it weighed down on top of me. I treaded water to the school gates and sank into inevitability.
Throw the corpse overboard.
Now I am struggling to keep my eyes open, and the way I am writing scares me. We lurch to a stop. I am filtered through the doors on a tide of people with the same crunchy, bone-deep numbness cultivated by caring too much and proving too little. We are all and nothing but the same. We long for flame, for colour, for purpose, for change. Yet we are unwilling, tastelessly vapid, breathing back into a slipping and uncertain past. We smoke our cigarettes and seethe with our puny resentments, praying for tomorrow and the day that we walk with intention.
The bus has pulled away. The rain washes colour into the ground and the lights and the faces. I miss the girl who would weave amongst the many, lipsticked and defiant. I miss her so much.