• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 03

Lonely People

Lonely people wait at bus stops.
Lonely people have that look on their face, and search for someone who doesn’t.
Lonely people travel by bus and talk and spill the truth about empty rooms and isolation and it’s the only conversation they have all day.
Lonely people wait to be asked how they are.
Desperate lonely people ask first.
Lonely people tell of their past and family and the way their daughter lives in Abu Dhabi now, and is on holiday in the Philippines though it’s a year to the day their partner died, and the boiler is broken, and the sky is dark grey, and the months stretch out greyer still.
Lonely people see you stutter and fail to reply, and then they step away from the curb and release you to travel alone in the next bus.
Lonely people will ring for the next bus stop and wait there a while and feel hollow inside.
Lonely people climb off the bus still wearing that look, the look people have in public when they’re on their own today and tomorrow and the world hasn’t been kind.
Lonely people practised that look when they were young, and curling their lips at their own reflection and deadening their eyes and folding their arms and yeah what? What do you want?
Lonely people never thought it would work so well.
Lonely people mean it more, the mask over misery. It’s been a long day, a long month, a long year, don’t bother me, don’t start, back off, come here.
Lonely people ride buses and they’ll look through you if you look through them.
Lonely people looking.
Lonely people, us.