By Stephanie Moore
One day, I tried to run in the rain to catch the bus. No sooner had I turned the corner after my mile walk to the stop than I heard the high pitched rumble of the 87 hurtling past. I ran in holy shoes, crippled by a heavy bag and already breathless. Inconceivably, I slipped- in mud or dog shit, it doesn't matter.
I felt the panic of lost footing, the rush of pain in my hands and wrists. And I got up in time to see the winking red lights of the bus as it pulled away. I was yards from the stop. I know the driver saw me. In fact all of the people saw me- the passing motorists were staring. I felt the weight of their derision. And I had no excuse.
I should have started walking from home earlier to make the bus. I will once again be late for work and while this time, the bastard bus driver who kept going might make a sympathetic story, I can’t explain the other times I was exactly ten minutes late, the times I sat just outside the entrance and couldn’t stand to even go in. It isn’t just the passing motorists in their cars, but my customers, the managers, my coworkers, my disappointed parents.
Everyone hates me. They are tired of my lame jokes, my nasal voice. They’re disgusted by my appearance, my messy hair and crooked teeth. I can’t find redemption from my mood; not in my unsatisfying work, my difficult school assignments, long-forgotten hobbies. Most of my time is spent alone with my dog and deep down, what she really loves is the sound of kibble hitting her bowl.
I stand on the sidewalk with wet stinging knees. I fight an ugly cry, dial the phone, telling them I will be late. And then I limp to the stop and sit down, my heart heavy with the weight of my failures.