BLAME

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Because she was texting while riding the bus, nothing happened. But a woman was texting while riding her moped. We heard a thud at the back. The traffic light had gone red, but she must have been sending a message. All of a sudden, the windows still open, there’s smell of gas and we hear the engine of the little moped fuming along the bus. She stops at the driver’s window, “Really!” and blames him. She’s figured out no one has seen her texting because no one – who would? – looks behind the bus and not ahead. The driver’s amused by the little scene, he’s probably not heard the thud, and doesn’t wonder why his passengers got all curious – the next stop’s coming up and he’ll pull over, by a park stretched on the ragged outline of a small hill – and this is different anyway, angry riders usually roll their eyes to heaven if he does something they don’t like. This time she talked to him!

STREETLIGHTS

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It gets dark so early now – she whispered. A streetlight had just been lit. The man behind her was thinking – you could tell – back at the time when they used candles to light streetlights and it was all amber-yellow. As if he’d been there in person! She hated the reflection of herself in the huge window of the bus as each streetlight seemed to get its neon activated when the bus passed by it, it did something unpleasant to the red of her hair, so she tried to take the bus only before it got too dark – the sun never did create unpleasant impressions while riding through the city. Suddenly both were jolted forward and slightly to the right, a screech of the brakes and a few damning words in at least three languages: tourists! She turned around and caught the look in his eyes – he didn’t react. He was thinking now of old stagecoaches and horse-drawn buggies. She could tell.