I found myself looking suspicious. I was walking to prove that idea of the God of Walkers about whom Bruce Chatwin wrote. I lingered, unintentionally, in the square outside the Concert Hall. It was night, orange street lamps on misty pavement, curtain time for multiple shows. When the three or four audiences came out I stood looking, no phone, no book, no headphones. Two night guards hired by the musical premises looked in my direction, and I pretended to be looking for someone in the crowd. Cars started to leave and their exhaust fumes made someone cough. I coughed, too. The person I was looking for never came. Lack of imagination surely. If just being there could not be substantiated, I could have at least faked a violinist, “Where do the artists come out?”, and thus given myself purpose. Perhaps you can prove certain ideas only in the absence of other human beings.
(He didn’t want to be on the tram. Not that late.) A freshly-laminated poster informs passengers that violence against transport workers is a crime – a ‘troubled’ youth yawns on it and fogs it up – while, opposite him fidgeting on her seat, a sari-clad woman attempts to connect to family far away, resorting to online chats instead. Some distance to the left, a couple of young guys inquire of a middle-aged woman which stop is for the park, which is given, wrongly the first time so they request it but stay on, before the woman realizes that the two must be going to the park to do those things she’s heard people do in the park at night: her face changes. Still, the stop is right, they get off and there’s a party, Chinese lanterns soaring in the starlit sky, the woman heaves a sigh of relief, she liked those two somehow.
Being out at night, on the bus, pampering the late hour by listening and paying attention, to those who’d like to go too far out, those to areas they know and nobody else does, Any night bus?, the driver’s at a loss, Never done that line, What street again? – Indulging in those who, because it’s late and increasingly dark, believe red and green to be daytime colors. They stroll in the sparseness of traffic out of side streets and into main avenues – now we’re talking dear city! It’s so warm only a T-shirt is good at 1 am! Streetlights are dim and reflected in the tepid cobblestones. – Although there’s always a car, there’s always a bus, engine roaring up and down, (quiet is never really quiet) those out at night still tend to be the most dilapidated of their kind, and you can hear them, oh! you can hear them.
It was one of those who look so misplaced on public transport in the daytime, something along the lines of “we’re all walking through the darkness but some of us believe there’s light somewhere, and others don’t.” This creature belonged to the latter. She would have shone like no other on a night bus, the passing shadows of orange streetlights blazing and fading in never-ending rhythms on his face, like wavelengths on a graph when they curve up and down, perpetuating the same motion only each time in a different dress, in a different haircut, in a different pose, eyes that sparkle frighteningly from the cruel white light of a phone, or when they’re caressed by the warm light of the world outside. This creature could be on all night long and no one would feel it strange – the driver would have pleasant company.