Tuesday, 24 April 2007

bus stop

There's a lady at the bus stop who always reminds me of the Queen.

It's nothing physical; it's hard to put my finger on why. I think it's something to do with the way she's always smiling, always calm. I've never seen her look anything else. She always arrives at the bus stop at the same time (not like me; flexitime is both a blessing and a curse) and seems to know all the regulars (again, not something I do). She wears a red coat and always gets off at the same stop. I smile and say hi if I reach the stop and she's looking, but I kind of feel intimidated to say any more than that.

I recognise some of the people who use my bus stop, but not everyone. There's the long haired guy who always wears a suit and listens to his stereo; not many people on the bus wear suits, and not many of the men have long hair, so he always stands out. There's the woman with long dark hair and bright red lipstick, the one who's blond and always looks kinda stressed.

I don't really know why some of my fellow passengers stick in my head and some don't - some of the ones who I remember are distinctive, but some aren't. It's not even that I remember the ones who are friendly. I think it's that some of them stir my curiosity. The juxtaposition of the suit and the long hair; the fact she is always smiling; the fact she is never smiling. (Maybe that last one is just not a morning person. God knows I can relate.)

But I think the thing that gets me most is that I rarely, if ever, see any of these people coming home. No matter how early or late I leave Newcastle, I've only seen two of them on the return journey; one of them three times, one of them twice.

And one of the things I wonder? If I'm one of the ones that stick, or one of the ones that are instantly forgettable. Someone who people notice, or someone who can blend in.

I don't know which I'd rather be.

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