56 Flavours – Ch. 2


The bus driver pulled to a sudden stop, everyone lurched forward and I fell into the lap of an elderly gentleman. I excused myself and his grin said all was right in his world. The doors opened and I exited, two stops early, but welcoming the walk on a mild October morning.

The bus didn’t move. An elderly Asian woman lie flat on her back in the street, her blue-gloved hands folded neatly over her chest, handbag by her side. The bus driver got out and asked if she was all right. “I’m fine,” she said, “just fine.” He then asked her what the hell she was doing in the middle of the street. “Waiting for an apology,” she said.

I cruised between the painted parallel lines marking the bridge to the other side. Half-way across, a car cut me off, just like that, speeding into a left turn, ignoring the bridge-crossers. When I hit the curb, I turned and lay down on the sidewalk, neatly tucking my backpack by my side. I clicked my toes together and watched two pigeons arguing on the ledge of a building. One of them took off in a huff. The other dropped to the ground and began pecking for crumbs around my head. “Nobody takes any responsibility any more,” I said. The pigeon thought for a moment, then lay down beside me, purring into the gathering sunlight.

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