Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Boredom in the rush hour

The bus was stationary, and I glanced across the road at an equally inert coach facing the other way.

There they were: 38 people seated in twos with a driver and portly guide at the front; the latter commentating into a microphone as her audience looked on.

Disengaged, half asleep, blindly staring out of the window; their tired eyes seemed to rest upon nothing and no one as the commuters around them moved with the purpose of the rush hour, while the historic landmarks of the city stood still where they have done for hundreds of years.

Unspeaking - save for two at the back pointing at a map - each person had the passive posture of someone who had nothing to do that day but listen and wait for the next thing to appear.

We sat there on our separate sides of the road, a bus of locals on one side, a coach of tourists on the other, and I looked at the passengers one by one and thought:

God, you look so bored.

I watched them, momentarily distracted from the dull feeling in my chest, the half-conceived thoughts and feelings in my head, the ideas that would never even see paper, let alone fruition, and the minutiae of life that confines itself to one solitary hour at the beginning of the day and another at the end.

And I wondered, as the bus pulled away and I prepared to join the flow of people on the pavement, if any of them had looked at me and thought exactly the same thing.


The Unbearable Banishment said...

Nietzsche spoke of the death of 1,000 pin pricks. Bukowski has a great poem about how it's not an atom bomb or cancer that kills a person, it's the accumulation of the tiny boredoms and small indignities that finally do us in.

I'm happy to see you post. It's been too long.

Ellie said...

I doubt it. Locals always seem exotic to the tourists. Especially when the locals are paused at either the top or the bottom of the escalators in the tube and the locals curse at them in a quaint Queen's English type of way. ;-)

nuttycow said...

Whenever I visit a new place and see the locals on their day to day business I always think about what kind of life they have. Where are they going? What are they doing? What's their life like?

But then, I am a nosy so and so!


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