My daily sojourn to work, on the big yellow bus takes on average forty minutes.
As more regular readers, of my barely read blog can attest, I occasionally discuss the fellow travellers on my daily journey. Not out of any sense of malice or obsessive interest in them. It’s more to do with the fact that earlier in the week my life involves transport to work, work, transport from work and evenings home alone.
Now I don’t discuss work on here, as I’ve learned through years of practise, that it’s wiser to keep it at a distance – at least outside the hours of 9 to 5.30. And certainly away from social media. Never befriending current colleagues on Facebook is the easiest practical step, to avoid awkward situations, or revelations, or online character assassination.
As a result the bus folk I encounter are the most interesting elements of my day which I can freely talk about; and I am able to imagine all sorts of adventures which I picture them getting involved in.
The people I see fall into two broad categories – worker drones like myself, engaged in careers we never imagined as children. The grind of the 9 to 5 is not physically difficult, but it certainly clarifies your position in the capitalist system we operate in.
The other category is parents and their children. There are a few primary schools en route to work. And the children below the age of about nine get accompanied by an adult each day. Beyoncé and her Mum seem to have disappeared – although I suspect that’s more to do with the fact that I take a later bus, enabling an additional fifteen minutes in my bed each morning.
I am not familiar with the regulars on my new route yet, but I predict that this morning’s family will be tumultuous if they become regular co-travellers.
The family (or at least the school-going members) comprise of 3 primary school boys and their blonde-haired, shell-suit sporting mother. The boys I’d guess are about 9, 7 and 5 years old. The five year old is the stroppy baby, used to getting his every whim catered to. The seven year old is the ignored one – the eternal afterthought, which is sort of the curse of being the middle child. And the nine year old is the sullen older brother, bitter at the level of responsibility he has to take, towards his younger siblings. Dreaming of the feats of greatness he could achieve in Gaelic football, were it not for his dreary younger brothers.
And the mother is stressed and looks ready to burst into tears at any moment.
Well they were all positioned directly in front of me on the crowded bus today. About two stops before they were meant to get off the nine year old decided that this was the perfect time to inform his mother that he needed a new football kit.
She looked at him in a harried manner and said ‘You don’t even play fucking football. You’ve played one fucking match this year. I’m not fucking buying you a new fucking kit. Do you know how much that fucking costs?’
He looked nonplussed. The five year old started wailing.
She pressed the button to alert the driver to stop.
‘This is our fucking stop, come on.’
They all got off the bus. Looking quite united.
What a pack of fucking legends.