I am walking at a seemingly slow pace against a fierce wind as I cross the
I am late for my bus home and am trying with all my might just to make it around the corner where there is a haven of shelter in the bus station but I feel like I am walking under water. My muscles are working so hard but the wind won’t let me advance more than a few inches with each step I manage to take. It’s like living the proverbial ‘one step forward, ten steps back.’
My hair, which I tied up this morning, has come free and slaps at my face, dances across my eyes and sticks to my lip gloss. My cheeks I can not feel, they are numb from the blustery weather but I know they are rosy pink. I swing my arms as I walk, refusing to look a fool by grabbing hold of anything to stay upright when there are busloads of people driving by, laughing at the poor unfortunate souls outside. I imagine myself sitting on the coach to Glasgow, the coach I missed ten minutes ago, with heated seats and a peaceful atmosphere.
I’m almost there, so near and yet so far. If this were a normal day I’d have reached the bus station entrance in seconds, but today is not normal. Today is difficult and it is not about to get any easier.
Someone has dropped a newspaper on the pavement and the wind has opened it, torn pages and sent them flying all over the street. The printed sheets of paper dance in the gusts, dropping and lifting with each blast. It reminds me of the weirdo with the camera and the paper bag in American Beauty and, if I weren’t so pissed off at the fact I’d missed my earlier bus, I might even think it quite beautiful.
I struggle onwards through the storm and then bam! My eyes are covered and I’m in darkness. Someone has attacked me. Oh my God I am being attacked! Panic rises in my stomach like bile and I let out a squeal. I try kicking my attacker but my feet can’t find him. Without thinking, my arms have also reached out, travelling in the air, searching frantically for a body to push away. It is only when my brain seems to come out of shock and more rational thoughts are processed that I remove the newspaper that has wrapped itself around my head and find, of course, no human attacker.
There are several onlookers standing by, pretending they are not looking or laughing but I see their little sideways glances, their mocking eyes, I hear their snorts of laughter.
I grab hold of the nearest wall and drag my humiliated body to the door of the bus station, never lifting my eyes from my feet.