Black Vans, City Nights and a Game:
I remember waiting for the bus on the side of the road at night, watching the rain fall and the headlights cruise and the buildings shimmer in the distance over the water. I revel in that solitude. That hush, that moment that I have completely to myself. It’s beautiful.
Dinner with Grandma and then out the door and down the hill, to meet the bus that will take me home to my bed. The night is crisp and quiet. It is exhilarating. I am prepared, with my layers and lights, and I power down the road, running for the thrill of it. I always plan ahead, give myself at least 15 minutes, but if I want to, I can make it in six. And tonight, I want to.
I get to the stop with plenty of time to kill. And I play the dangerous game of What If. What if I were to busk all summer, be deemed a musical genius and make millions. What if I got a dog, wrote a bestseller, went off grid, stayed up all night watching tv and eating ice-cream and popcorn and chocolate, found a sole mate, changed the world… That would be amazing, I could do it.
It’s the end of one tune, and the beginning of another on my playlist of Top Tunes; Like Real People Do – ‘Why were you digging, what did you bury…’ My mind switches gears. What if I get attacked, what if I disappear and never return? My imagination runs wild. And then, this big, black van pulls to the side of the road, stops right beside me.
Crap. I did it this time. My mind game is turning to reality. I edge back from the sidewalk, look hopefully for the bus. Nope, not coming.
“Be careful… careful… careful.” Night-time can make people nervous. It makes my Grandma nervous, my Mom and Dad too, to know that her granddaughter and their first-born is out in the dark waiting for a bus, in the city. And I get that. I really, really do. It may sound corny, but anything can happen, anywhere, anytime. Still, I’m prepared. I’ve done my best. Axe murderer or no, we just have to wait and see. I’ve nowhere to run.
This is ridiculous. My heart is in my throat, and I want desperately to teleport into bed. This is ridiculous, I repeat. Everything will be fine. And it is. A smiling young Asian woman and her son, who looks to be just out of Kindergarten ask me if I need a lift. Seriously, they are a pair of Good Samaritans who spotted me dripping at the side of the road. I politely decline, and the bus shows moments later 🙂