Waiting in the rain


Waiting in the rain, one bus missed, another five minutes off, darkness in full swing, the dirty yellow light no good for reading, the smoking habit knocked on the head some time ago, the bar too far away for a quick pint- shots not being his thing- Paul was forced to wait unaided. No desirable distractions.

In this biting cold there would be no parade of leggy ladies to while away the minutes. In fact, in the hollow that was this side street the only company was the occasional lumbering bus, none his, as they climbed around the corner above him and fell down onto the road below. Their engines strained, roared; their fumes filled his lungs.

Others waited too and all seemed to have that homogenous expression, perhaps a prerequisite stuck in this misery. He smiled as he wondered if every single person here was of the same opinion of each other as he was. He was no better, he knew this.

A couple arrived just then, that kind of couple. Not only are they in love but they want everybody to know it, and by tumbling about while in full embrace, bumping into those in close proximity, they were also trying to include innocent bystanders in their torrid love affair. An old man muttered a reproach,they sniggered, and continued to whisper, casting accusing glances at the reproacher. He eyed them with suspicion. Paul himself felt a pang of anger though he allowed that it could have been jealousy. He’d never been that free in love. Too cautious, much too cautious.

Another bus finally tumbled around the corner and pulled up to a halt before them, the waiters. Still minutes off deparute but nearly time, he thought. The driver would surely leave them on board to step in out of the drizzle, that persistent reminder that everything wasn’t alright. The engine suddenly died and the people dared not look around in wonder, for fear of seeing the same worry etched on the others’ faces as they could only imagine was blantantly apparent on theirs.

The driver climbed from his seat and manually opened the front door. Stepping out he closed the door again, and then, turning to Joe Public offered a conciliatory explanation. A groan rose. Paul didn’t understand what the driver had said but it was obvious. An old lady donned her reading glasses and checked the bus timetable. Another twenty minutes. Paul knew. The evening schedule had just begun. Time for that pint, he thought, and smiled. Finally sense prevailed.

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