[This piece is a long one I did for Uni. I’m throwing it up here to keep myself honest.]
Streetlights dotted the roadside, havens of orange-yellow light against the autumn dark. Steven pulled his jacket closed, zipped to the chin against the blustery night. After the long weekend off, he was more than ready to return to work. Days off for him were strange things that seemed to go on for too long, time stretching in odd places. He waited at his usual bus stop, patient, plugged into the rock music that bolstered the edges of his little bubble of sanity. There was something about the constant noise, the different sounds and tempos of music that kept the gnawing ache within his mind, and his chest, at bay for a while.
Steven huffed as he checked the time. The bus was late. An old man with a cane shuffled to the stop, labored breathing the only sound between them as they waited. Steven flipped through albums, passing time, searching for something to offset his mood. He thought about offering the hunched figure his coat, thinking about the ease with which old people got ill, when the lights of the bus rounded the corner. Steven waited as the old man searched each pocket for his bus pass. Once found, the old man shuffled his way to a seat near the front, the bus taking off as Steven wobbled down the aisle, past the other riders.
Steven took his usual seat at the far back where he could observe without being noticed. It was nearing midnight and the amalgamation of people at this hour, for the most part, proved entertaining. He liked to people-watch. In his head, an Attenborough-esque commentary ran alongside his usual rock soundtrack. He fumbled with his phone, skipped to another song. Something less introspective. More upbeat, to keep his head working on other things, instead of his own worries. He slouched back with a grateful sigh. Long, insomniac nights left him tense, angry at nothing and everything. Left the world drained of colour, less real. He knew he would sleep after a long shift though. Continue reading