I like taking the bus and now that we live more than a quick walk from the CBD I take the bus to and from work. I like that I can watch the world go by, I like that I can watch the people on the bus itself, I like the cheery “Thanks Driver!” that people call as the get off (this may be a quaint Wellington tradition like honking in the Mt Vic tunnel, I’m not sure).
Mostly I like that a whole heap of different people get mushed together who wouldn’t necessarily be together otherwise. Back in Movember I saw a guy who looked like Lemmy (complete with boil) except in a suit.
Some of the best times on the bus are when things don’t go to plan. Like when the bus driver takes the wrong turn and you find yourself on the motorway, or when they miss a whole section of stops. Then you can watch the reactions of the other passengers – will they speak up, or mutter to themselves? What will they tell their friends, if they tell them at all?
I write on the bus a lot. In pretty messy writing that leans far too much to the left. Lately I’ve been noting down random thoughts (which may or may not end up here) but also if something or someone strikes me.
So today a girl got on the bus after struggling for some time to pick up her suitcase. The driver and a couple of other passengers tried to help her, which she dismissed looking suspiciously at those who offered help. She was a frail looking thing, rail thin with long, curly blond hair that if I were a cowboy (and would that I were!!) I would call “yeller”. She struggled again with the case when arrived at her stop, and as we pulled away she glared sullenly at the bus.
So what was in the suitcase? My mind immediately to the morbid, thinking maybe a body…but the distinct lack of a blood trail ruling it out. Then I thought she might have a suitcase filled with hundreds of glass globes (there was a large “fragile” sticker on the case)…at least that’s what she was told. Instead she has been dragging a suitcase filled with broken bits and pieces and rocks.
So this is a gift to all you writers (even though I know that you’ve already stolen it, haven’t you?) – a little prompt. Who’s the girl? What’s in the suitcase? Where is she going? If you feel inspired and want to share I love to read your responses!
(My response? A couple of years ago I wrote a short film called Unclaimed Luggage that was about a disembodied spirit trapped in suitcase. Will that do? )