Written while listening to "The End of All Things" by Panic!At the disco; have a listen :)
| The bus is late.
I overslept, spilt my breakfast down my shirt, lost my house keys, received a detention, was late to English, haven't eaten at all...
And the bus is late.
It is raining and it is cold. I am curled up on a wooden bench (a wooden bench far too creaky for my liking) under a flimsy umbrella - only one more gust of wind and it will break, break, snap, snap - watching the road and waiting. I am waiting for the bus. The bus is late.
Next to me, a small boy. I give him the name James, not because I know him or because he looks like a James, more because it is my favourite name (and a bloody common one at that). James is, unfortunately, without an umbrella. He is sopping wet, dripping as if he'd been swimming. Swimming in the rain... isn't that a song?
He is shivering. He is cold. He is not the it's-a-bit-nippy-out-today cold, no, he's more a hands-numb-toes-frozen-heart-thudding kind of cold.
I feel bad for him... not bad enough to risk the rain by sharing my umbrella.
I am midway through my argument of self-hatred - maybe he needs it more than me versus he's already wet and an umbrella won't save him now - when the bus finally arrives.
I spring to me feet, suddenly rejuvenated, and all but skip to the door. The warmth of the heater and stifling stuffiness of a bus full of people hits me faster than the rain had seeped through my clothes, defrosting my bones, embracing my heart. The radio is on and blasts a wintertime theme tune slightly too loud for my liking but I'm now warm, and safe from the dark predators prowling in the night, and nearly home; nearly home!
I turn to smile at the young boy. He is not behind me.
There, on the bench, is a small ball of school uniform.
"Aren't you coming?" I ask.
I receive a nod, "no," the nod says. His voice is feeble and cracked.
"Mine's the next bus."
I find a seat. By the time I reach one and turn to look at the world through the fish tank glass the bus has moved on and James is far behind me. The rain stays, following us like a shadow. It drips down the panes of glass.
Sat there, wet but warm, in the security of the bus, I watch the glass weep, watch the world blur and darken with storm clouds as the sun abandons the sky, burying itself in the hills on the horizon. I am suddenly very glad to be alive.
Because the world is beautiful.
Oh! The world is beautiful.
I am cold. It is wet. The bus was late and I've had a pretty crap day.
But, oh, the world is beautiful.
I know that I will forget this feeling. Come morning, or even come the enveloping caress of my home, this bliss will be a memory. Then the memory will become a feeling and then the feeling will become a black and white sense of absence. I will remember that I have lost something - for how could this feeling go unnoticed? - but that is all it will be. Something forgotten.
I will forget the boy, too; he will be another figure lost to time. Perhaps I will pass him on the street, and my brain with ping and my heart will leap but I will not know why. Because the world is beautiful, and permanent and lasting... and my memory is not.
I will forget this; somehow, right now, that does not matter.