The Busiest Bus Route in Europe

Your third and most successful encounter with her was as you departed the bus. You left by the stop outside the BBC building, and you walked past the window she sat staring out of, the bus so tight to the pavement that it moved like a gently paced tracking shot in an important grandiose movie. Her window had misted up into a circle that haloed her face, and the wet moustache hair had dropped down to a more behaved place, as it dried in a curl. The bus stood there, still, stationary – all in the shine of a red light that paused its journey so perfectly for you to take a new stance.

From a discreet enough distance, you could see her, and you thought she couldn’t see you, but she could, and did purposely look out for you; because you’d looked interesting to her – she thought you looked like the type of man she would feel comfortable asking directions from, and that characteristic was important to her; it put you in good esteem.

On the window she began to draw what looked like a cow, you couldn’t be sure, but the cow type drawing grazed above her head in the misted veil of her black hair. The bus drove on, and she looked back slightly as you watched the bus move further away into the lines of more buses that met by the crossroads of Cornerhouse and The Palace Hotel. It felt like a game to you to keep your eye on her bus, the creaking 142 Magic Bus, double-decker edition, that made its way to Piccadilly with the nameless sweetheart you honed in on, and her drawing of a grazing cow.

Take a taxi!
Beat her there!

How ridiculous the things you’ll think are sometimes, but fun to think – exciting but un-actualised – a daydream, a bedtime dream, so many dreams – all figurative and bold in their nature as you imagine what could have been.

You made your lecture, ten minutes in – not concentrating any, not making notes, but pretending enough to the room and its mood that you cared more about the teachings of physics than you did the once moustached girl.

Emily spends her days temping in an office and her nights writing in a room where a portrait of William Shakespeare hangs.

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4 Responses to “The Busiest Bus Route in Europe”

  1. May 27, 2009 at 9:03 am, Tim said:

    This is brilliant. I really love it.

  2. May 27, 2009 at 10:02 am, Rach said:

    Ah, this is gorgeous. One of my favourites so far. ‘Lost to your fret’ indeed. xx

  3. May 28, 2009 at 7:03 pm, emily josephine mcphillips said:


  4. July 12, 2009 at 2:15 pm, tweetamanchestercab » Mancubist: Life is good in Manchester said:

    […] a great little idea. If I didn’t live on Europe’s busiest bus route I’d be tempted to try it […]


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