Encounters On Buses On An Ordinary Day

Encounters On Buses On An Ordinary Day

I’ve finally left the house. It’s a messy house, far messier than before but what can you do, the baby needs a gym, a bumbo & god knows what else, but she needs them, but I’ve left the house. Everything is going well, I’ve fed her & changed her & dashed out, now all I need is a swift bus journey to visit a friend in her new beautiful home.

The bus ride is like a little trip down memory lane as I pass my old secondary school where the husband and I met. We      made googly eyes at each other on that spot & that spot. We had to say bye to each other for a number of days at that station before he was made to go to NY, and how my heart broke,rose to my throat and fizzed as we said goodbye. I thought I would die. 
Oh to be seventeen again.
The wheels on the bus are going round and round, oh dear, I’m singing nursery rhymes again. But really, they are turning, and I’m perched on my seat holding the baby’s hand as she falls asleep. It really is quite nice to be going out, to catch up with my friend who I’ve known since we were five.
Oh to be five again.
A friendly woman gets on the bus with a smile that opens up her face like a flower to the sun. I wonder if she carries such cheer everyday or if she’s going somewhere exciting, she had mentioned Farringdon. She grins at a group of teenagers that get on the bus, their trousers are slung fashionably low.
“Excuse me” the friendly woman taps one of the boys on the arm, “your trousers  are falling” her smile never leaves her face. I’m watching, trying not to laugh.
“Nah, it ain’t” he grins. His friends try not to crack up in laughter.
“Yes it is” she says.
“Aww yeah” he says quietly, smiling as if he is flashing his underwear to his Aunt & starts pulling them up.
“That’s much better, now your underwear isn’t on show.”
I’ve noticed how I’ve become invisible on buses except to other mums. Maybe I’ve always been invisible.
I have a lovely time at my friends house, the baby is a hit with her lovely housemates & one of them turns out to be a baby whisperer.
Such people exist.
It’s hot outside, I long to strip off the many layers I plied on that morning-a nylon like skirt and a woollen cardigan. Is the baby too hot? It’s hard to gauge, but she seems to be fine as she is fast asleep now in the safe confines of her pram. And she stays asleep as I get on the bus with two of the worst toddlers. 
The mother wears identical clothing to her friend, or is it her sister? Why are they dressed identically?
The mother has made her eldest child cry and insists on teaching him a lesson by making him cry harder while her other child chucks books from his pram and pulls at mine… Don’t wake the baby, don’t wake the baby. 
The sun is streaming. Its warm tentacles are reaching into the pram and so I flip down the flap to block out the sun. Is that better darling? I ask her quietly inside.
That child is still screaming. My baby is still sleeping and the two young ill mannered women swear & instill a sense of unease in others on the bus. It’s funny how everyone appears to be so apathetic . They are just pretending right? Right?
A women gets on, the bus is becoming more cramped. I’m being pushed harder against the pram. The screaming does not subside but my baby sleeps on. I hope it’s not too hot for her. I could really do with a nap, I’m dreaming of my bed next to the open window, I wish I was there. 
But a woman who now stands next to me starts telling me about her two autistic sons. She tells me all about them, about how well they’re doing; 
“One’s at school doing their GCSE’s while the other goes to college.” She beams with pride.
“That’s better than most” I reply.
“Yes. I was told not to have children, I was blind and couldn’t walk, I’m 59 now.”
“Wow” I say, ” you’ve been truly blessed.”
“I am” she smiles.
I can’t stop looking at her lipstick which has come away in patches on her bottom lip and her eyes have a wild stare about them but that’s ok because they belong to a happy proud mum. After discussing my child’s sleep patterns and those of her boys, she presses the bell.
“Well I get off here”
“Goodbye, I smile, the baby has woken & is now looking at me.”Take care”
“You too”
It’s only 1:30. I’m tired. I’ll be going out again soon. I’m wondering if I should just stay in.

About zehra

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  1. Zehra, I am very, very glad (and grateful) that with a small baby, you still make time to write. The way you explore feelings and sensations is astonishing. This is so beautifully put, so mindful.

    And I'm glad for your baby, because you have a very strong sense of treating her properly, and life being as good as possible for her.

  2. Thank you, you're so sweet & kind. It's quite difficult writing,I do it while she sleeps on me, on my mobile phone. I start during the day and again at night in bed while laying next to her!We get there in the end!

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