It takes four minutes to walk from my house to the bus station (I have a new commute). I leave at the same time most mornings and mostly walk past/alongside the same people. There's the woman with the fat black dog and bag of fat black dog shit. There’s the woman with the limp. And, of course, there’s the man in a suit on a push scooter.
The lady with the dog, I like. She seems friendly and I like dogs. I’ve actually come close to saying good morning to her. I usually meet her by the bridge with the pretty vista. Then, if the bus is a little late, I see her tie fat dog to railing, and go into the station shop to buy a paper. The Independent I think but it might just be i. Her routine pleases me but I worry the dog is old.
The lady with the limp, I see less often, maybe three mornings a week. She is overweight and wears a big dark fleece. I have no idea where she goes but it’s the wrong direction. Everything else is the other way. Unless she’s going home, after a night-shift.
The man on the scooter I can’t explain. He’s just one of those guys; a right quirky bastard. He dresses like he’s in middle management. Something formal. Insurance or commercial banking I reckon, an office manager maybe. I hear him before I see him. Him and his scooter. Scooting down to the train like a dick. Breaking the adult vow of morning silence with childish noise. I’ve never seen his face but I imagine he smirks as he scoots.
And then the stars aligned. It was like some kind of commuter solstice. For the first time, the four of us were all together. And it was wonderful.
I was yet to reach the bridge. The woman with the limp was approaching. I was on the outside, by the road, and she was on the inside, by the trees. Like normal.
And then the faint rolling of rubber wheels appeared in the distance. Getting closer and closer. The woman limped and the man scooted towards me, from opposite directions.
And then the woman and her fat dog appeared. Approaching the bridge – right on cue.
The scooter got closer. I glanced at the kerb. Way too steep for a jump off. We had him.
He reached the back of me just as I passed the lady with the limp. As she passed he scooted closer to me but again I was just reaching the woman with the dog. I could here him stop, start and stop again.
That will teach you I thought. You and your scooter. At your age. And then he sped passed me. But we were practically at the station by then.