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I think of all these colliding worlds as I yawn and can see my open mouth reflecting against the clear window. We are almost home although its on journeys like this I wish we would never make it - time on the bus is time to think (usually) uninterrupted by forces from elsewhere. A good place to just sit and swill insecurities around in peace and quiet. No distractions. Only real life; real events, things that break the order. Just like in the shower. People try to get in the way, the undoubted drama of everyday melancholy and disorder creeping into my well-designed closed-off space. Breaks the lovely calm I have shored up around me, a moat around a castle. My job is to keep the invaders out as long as possible, to hole up in the lookout tower. Im going to have to get off in a minute, weve skipped past the Academy and turned the corner and now were under the railway bridge opposite Marks and Spencer. Just 10 more minutes max for these futile deliberations. Maybe I could get off and go back the other way, do the whole journey again on the outward stretch? Another few hours to relive the harsh moments on repeat in the memory. More wasted-but-not-really-wasted hours. Given over to passive thinking, analysing things with all the clarity removed. Poring over the details, the conversations, the answers, the intonations. Missed opportunities. Minute ambiguities. Will I ever iron them out? Seconds when a different tilt of the head or different word or a more loaded question might have eked out the real reasons. Opened up a crack/a brittle bit of the made-up story, given me a little more ammunition.

Yet time is a beast, keeps pushing forward, swallowing up the little inconsistencies, the granules of sand in the egg timer, glossing over them. Shattering the chance of any answers - like watercolour reproductions of voices, drowned out in the liquid. Mixing in the gone-fast visions I see on the routes, roughed-up fly posters, weatherworn faces. Fading notes from kebab shops. Eternal universal calls from the street. All forming a mish-mash memory capsule that is stored and poured over, made to be a perfect picture.

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© Copyright 2016 John Maher