Riding the 80

1 minute read

The bus hit a bump and my head snapped back, cracking against the glass window. I’d drooled on my coat. Wiping it off with my sleeve, I looked around the bus. I hated these side-seats.

Strange people rode the 80 this late at night. During the day, it was all suits and dresses. Too many people wearing too much perfume. At night, the bus smelled of piss and booze.

A few drunk kids boarded on Spring Garden and they were now making out a few rows back.

“Would you like to buy a flower for your missus?” asked an older gentleman in a rumpled suit. The wilted roses hung limply in his hand but I bought one anyway. I didn’t care if he bought booze with it.

Halfway along the Bedford Highway, a black man wearing a white sweater and plaid shirt boarded. He wasn’t particularly offensive until he proceeded to ask me for money because the flophouse locked up at eleven. I told him to ask the flower guy.

I spent the final leg nodding absently as a sharply dressed woman gave me the Good News from her ministry.

Finally, we approached my stop. Sweet mercy.

Ding. Ding.

Photo by Les Infill

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