Here’s the story of expertise, change, and an alien foot.
I’m not one to dillydally with finagling eyes in fear they dost enrage, nor am I one to be taken in so easily by BBC’s Shakespeare Season. Not that thou art expecting such fruity endeavours. He invented the word ‘fruity’, by the way. ‘I fruity, I pine, I perish.’ He later changed it, of course, but I’m a purist, I prefer the original. That was from The Taming of the Fruit. That title also changed. You know what it’s like, readers. After spending six months behind a desk working for jack all, you suddenly realise, the sentence is at an end. Freedom beckons! And naturally, you start to become a bit giddy. A bit mad. Your mind starts to wander whilst on the bus to work and you start rewriting Shakespeare plays in your head. Maybe this is why I have no friends…
It’s the same old story, readers. In the same time it would take to perform Shakespeare’s shortest play, there’s been a strange occurrence in the offing for six months. For that time, I’ve been getting the same bus to work. Same day. Sigh. Same everything. As usual. But there’s always been a charming young lady with bright blue hair, a great taste in death metal, ragged jeans, and a curious intelligence seemingly counter to all that. Now, every so often, I catch her looking my way. And when she thinks I’m not looking, I can see her looking my way in my peripheral vision.
Now, we all know people like this. On that bus to work. Or on that hot air balloon ride to work. Or on that train to work. Your usual transportation methods. Now, you can’t figure out if they’re staring at you because they’re a creep. Or because they like you. Or because it’s your long-lost daughter and I must be considerably older and more sexually active than I thought. As for the blue haired girl, God only knows.
The point is, it’s one of the little things you miss when a chapter of your life comes to an end. It’s the little things you miss. That funny elevator music. Your boss that keeps calling you Adam, for some reason. The coffee machine that keeps spitting boiling water at you like it has a grudge but no legs to act on it. You know, the usual stuff…
Yes, my six months of work experience is heading to an end. I’ll miss that blue haired girl, even though she was probably staring at me because, let’s face it, I don’t look normal. I don’t even look alien. In fact, if you told an alien I looked alien, that alien would be offended. Even if it were a giant foot, it would still be offended.
I’ll miss the bus rides into town. Watching the world go by and all the new houses being built along the route. Seeing all the little kids go to the various schools and all the adults looking delighted when they drop the little terrors off. I’m sure I saw one couple pop open a bottle of champagne once.
I won’t miss waiting out in the cold for the bus to show up, mind. I mean, I’m not a patient man. I’m not the kind of person to sit on the bench at the bus stop. I’m the one pacing up and down, periodically checking my watch, which is a fruitless endeavour because, let’s face it, I forgot to change the time when the clocks changed and it’s now running 78 minutes behind. I don’t know how, it’s not the point. I like to get on the bus and have a nice nap on the 40 minute ride home. I do not like waiting! Admittedly, you may think this is unusual for a member of the queue happy British, but I’m Italian. We want everything done all at once and we want it now. Have you been to Rome? Going there and not getting run over is a good holiday. Not patient people, is all I’m saying.
I have a handy trick when it comes to the buses, readers. You see, where I live there are hundreds of houses, all ringed by this… well, ring road, obviously. Only one way in, one way out. I can see that entrance/exit from my bedroom window, so I just stand at my window and wait for the bus to go by. Because the ring road is so huge, I can get my shoes on, be out the door and be at the bus stop on the entrance/exit road before the bus comes back round again. It’s a fabulous system because it means I don’t have to wait out in the miserable, windy, wet and horrible stormy British summer weather. Others would call it ‘lazy’, but I’d call it ‘genius’. I don’t like blowing my own horn, but give me this one, please.
I don’t like that bus stop. The paint is flaking off the metal and mould is aplenty. And the one on the ride home isn’t much better. Sure, it’s modern, but somebody, for some reason, has taken a hacksaw to the bench and cut out a chunk of it. British youths are often troublemakers, to varying degrees, which yes, nobody likes to see, but you have to applaud their inventiveness. Some youths of some countries would graffito something but not ours. Ours take a one foot chunk of plastic. I have no idea why, but it’s something I like to think about whilst standing at that stop, being gawped at by the hoards of schoolchildren walking passed. “Ooh, look at his big strange face!” One of them actually said that once. Bit rude.
Of course, when the bus does turn up 20 minutes late, we are angry. But, being British, we don’t say anything. In our heads, ‘When that driver shows up, ooh boy, I’m going to give him a piece of my mind, the bastard!’ In reality, “Good afternoon driver, I hope you’re well!” You may think that someone should break this trend, but you can’t, because everyone else on the bus would stare at you and start tutting loudly because of your outburst, and you’d have to leave the bus. Even if they agree with you. British politeness is a tricky thing to handle. Even I don’t understand it some days.
I’ll miss making my bait, too. The excitement of cutting the bread, the raw adrenaline of buttering it, the spine tingling chills as the ham is neatly placed on said bread. The electric energy of choosing a packet of crisps from our crisp box (don’t ask), and choosing what chocolate bars I’ll have for dinner and morning break. Phwoar. I’m what you’d call an eccentric. For me, an eccentric isn’t someone who lives life turned up to 11, it’s someone who drinks in the monotony of daily life like ecstasy. This also may be why I have no friends…
I’ll miss being around people, even though I can’t really stand people, I’ve come to like those ones. I’ll miss opening up on the morning and staring at the heating contraption trying to figure out how to turn it on. You know, in six months, I should really have asked someone that, but instead, I’ve just sat there freezing my nipples off.
But what can you do, readers? That’s life. It’s constantly changing. And yes, I hate change. More than anything. It’s awful. It’s rarely good. But it’s life. You move on. Today, I got an ultrasound scan photo thingamajig (can you tell I’m not an expert?). My next nephew. That’s a change, a nice once too, because when you’re as sad as I am about leaving a place you love, because you have no choice, it’s lovely to be reminded that some change is good, and maybe this one will be, too.
I say ‘nephew’. I can’t really tell. I say it looks like a boy based on its head. I don’t think girls have heads that shape. It’s definitely a ‘boyish’ head. I think.
I’m not a pregnancy expert, either, as much of a shock as that must be to you…
American novelist and poet, Erica Jong (b. 1942), once said: “I have accepted fear as part of life – specifically the fear of change… I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back.”
Peace Out :|:
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