augury doggerel

Thursday, November 21, 2002


On the first bus out of town, the driver is often alone. He doesn't stop for the casual lingerer. I threatened to walk in front of the bus this morning, so he opened the doors, almost stopped, gave me just enough time to grab the railing on the steps and climb on. We rode, invisible driver and I, the rest of the way alone.

It was dark (it is still dark) and too early for stoplights. Past the city, he lit a cigarette and turned on the high beams. The trees became the sides of a deep gorge and we were at the bottom. It's a long curving hill up through the woods and he had to work the gears and rev the old engine. Over the top, the engine relaxed and we roared past the highway, through more trees, and then to an empty spot where he slowed down enough to let me off. The momentum of the bus carried me forward for the first few steps.

A bookkeeper over a bus depot somewhere might think about shutting down this run, but there's always someone who needs to get out too early. Today it was me. Tomorrow, maybe the bookkeeper.


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