Buses and Bubbles
It’s the middle of summer, yet somehow the day still makes me shiver in the shade. I decide to stand in the sun when I reach my bus stop, opting out of sitting on the cold, silver bench that casts a short morning shadow on the road.
I fumble in back pack for my wallet and headphones, a slight panic setting in when I cant seem to find them immediately and then thinking I’d have to endure the 30 minute bus ride in mental silence. But finally I find them, buried at the bottom, and my heart relaxes.
I see my bus from a distance pulling out from it’s last stop, and a new type of anxiety sets in. Where will I sit? Will I even find a seat? What if the driver doesn't see me and drives off? And several other fantastical thoughts race around my mind, until finally the heavily worn and uncannily loud bus pulls up next to me.
I step on and tap my bus card, the driver greeting me with a curt nod behind his shaded eyes.
There are seats available.
I strategically make my way through the narrow aisle, bracing myself for when the driver takes off so that I don't dramatically fall to my inevitable embarrassment. I choose a seat at the middle of the bus, scanning the heads in front of me so as to be able to give an accurate description to the police if one of them ends up being a serial killer.
Everyone looks normal.
And now comes my favourite part of the bus ride. The music.
I untangle the headphones I had clutched in my hand this whole time and plug them into my phone. Immediately my library opens up and I am greeted by all my friends; some old and some very new. A smile pricks at the corners of my lips as I scan through the list of artists, each one waiting to make this journey a more pleasant one.
I settle on a playlist I made recently titled “New Musik” and tap on the small shuffle icon. The music is familiar yet still new enough to make me listen. I fade in and out of real life as I delve into fantasies I have associated with each track. By the time my bus has reached the local shopping centre, I have played a show at Milton Keynes. When we pull up to the interchange I am modelling the latest Tom Ford accessories. When we reach the outskirts of the city I have danced my way through the biggest clubs in Las Vegas.
So you can imagine that by the time I reach my destination, I have pretty much lived a lifetime.
And all because of music.
My mind reconnects to my surroundings as I step off the bus. I still keep my headphones firmly plugged into my ears as I manoeuvre the busy morning streets of the city. Each new song that plays acting like a theme to the private film that is my life.
My pace quickens as I note the time on my watch and I hastily weave through the masses of people. I watch as others do the same around me. They walk a bit faster and scroll through their playlists a little quicker. And I like to think they do this because they want to squeeze as much musical happiness as they can before they need to disconnect from the melodies and reconnect to the daily grind.
I like to think everyone has their own little bubble that only bursts when the headphones come off.