I hand over my ticket to the bus driver, walking down the claustrophobic aisle that’s lined by old pensioners with shopping bags. As I approach the back, I see someone who I recognise so I wave and he acknowledges me.
‘How’s it goin?’ I ask him.
‘Not too bad’ he says, ‘What’s the craic?’
Sitting down beside him we start talking—the usual jovial rigmarole about our plans for the day, where we were going and why. Normally this wouldn’t cause me a second thought, except that, as I looked closer to this person who I thought I knew, he turned out to be a total stranger. Damn short-sightedness, I’ll be blind by the time I’m 50.
The resemblance to this person who I knew was uncanny; from far away I’d have bet my house it was him. He had the same chubby frame, shape of head and hairstyle; only on closer inspection this man was, although fat, taller by quite a bit and he had subtle differences in his teeth in that there were a lot more spaces between them.
The first thing that struck me was the voice. I thought, ‘hold on a second’, that doesn’t sound like him. And this guy dribbled his words to the extent that I couldn’t understand a single word he said. A couple of times I just nodded and smiled and pretended to hear him. He might have been semi-retarded, actually. It was after a couple of minutes that I think we both telepathically realised that we didn’t, in fact, know each other. And to minimise the awkwardness I began shuffling for a book in my bag at the earliest possible opportunity so I could stop speaking to him. Although we both knew, we both didn’t mention it.
As the bus drives away I’m smirking to myself. And now on the journey in a silly kind of way I’m writing about the experience. A bit pointless, perhaps, but kinda funny all the same.
You need to be logged in to comment