Another Day – about Nothing – THE BUS RIDE DOWN RUE PARADIS
Seinfeld had a deal that their show was “about nothing. ” Sometimes I think my writing is about “nothing” , but basically, it is about “something.”
It’s just little vignettes – of a day – in Marseille –
THE BUS RIDE DOWN RUE PARADIS
She held the kleenex close to her nose as it was constantly her nose’s best friend these last hours, a teeny cold coming on, perhaps, and the bus stopped at her exact spot. She stepped up – plastic bus card swiping the meter in front, clambering to her seat, ” oh no, wait! I’ll stand” SHE THINKS, “it’s not that far,” so she grabs the bright yellow pole. Then she decided to sit. After all, the bus was empty up front, only half full in back. Oh! She would have to face the strangers. And ride backwards. Okay, so be it. She did and she stared at them and they stared — – – mostly out the window into the darkness. No one stares, well, they do…but it’s so unobtrusive, it’s nothing. The one thing she does know for sure is that they are all in black. Everyone wears black. Black coats, black trousers, black dresses,black! This COUNTRY *LOVES* black!!!!!! She starts to crane her neck, and that’s not good enough, so she turns her entire body in her big coat towards the front of the bus to check her stop. After 20 seconds she decides to get up and converse with the driver (in French.) She says something to the effect – prochain arrette? (next stop?) He shakes his head. “WHAT the heck does he not understand about 2 simple words that she said correctly?” Granted, she really should have said, “Avez-vous un arrêt de plus dans cette rue?” Do you have one more stop on this street?” – but 4 hours of french earlier from class, 1 hour of french in the café with her “ mon ami” – 1/2 hour of which was explaining “Carafe d’eau” to her friend – and it being a late hour, she just didn’t have a brain to think anymore. French was done for the night. It had gone to bed long ago. So, frustrated, she sat back down, sure – almost POSITIVE that he had one more stop before getting to the big boulevard PRADO. Sure enough, there was one last stop – and it was hers! She happily bounded off the bus – which is a feat for her decrepit knees and said very amicably – “OH that is what I wanted….this is perfect…..thank you!
Merci beaucoup – Bon soiree – Au Revoir” – off the bus!
Walking down the hill to PRADO – where her next bus will come – was pleasant, quiet,
uneventful. THen, there are steps behind her. No one is on the street but her and the steps she is hearing are louder and louder. She saw someone stumbling out a Tabac moments earlier, and she was not afraid, but then her brother’s words came into her head……...”They say Marseille is very dangerous – be careful out there walking. “ Well, hell! She walks ALL the time and a good bit of it is in the after sundown hours. Then, all of a sudden, she hears a KKKKKKkkkkkkkkkkkkclllllluoooogggGGGGG – SPIT! Ah, nice, – this is a man, an OLD man, that has to SPIT. He is not after her, nor could he catch her. His chief desire in this night is to visit a Tabac, get cigarettes, and most definitely SPIT. “ Just stop your imagination of “being Taken” now- get to your Next bus stop – bus # 19.” She tells herself. Now she arrives at the bus stop and looks at the schedule. It is going to be 10 minutes. Ah sacre bleu – an ETERNITY. Sit, pull the down coat around her legs tight, shove her cold hands with kleenex into the pockets and wait, and think, and dream, and wait some more. The man to her right was fiddling with his iPhone earphones trying to untangle them. The woman on her left was carrying a huge long mirror or some work of art wrapped in brown paper, amidst some squished fresh (or they were fresh) cut flowers. She was wearing a long black coat ofcourse. She tapped her black boots on the pavement impatiently, the right guy kept untangling what looked like was already untangled. Maybe he was using the earphones as prayer beads…but what does he get on that thing, like 2 PRAYERS???
She’s sitting in the middle watching him from the corner of her right eye, watching her out of the corner of her left eye, while looking straight ahead. That was the apartment of her friend A who moved back to Texas, and she was still sad she was gone. The cold wind picked up. She is sitting on the bench pulling her scarf up half way to her nose and her coat tighter around her. The three of them sitting/standing there – a real boring combination. It’s such a long 10 minutes.
Bus 19 appeared. In the distance. It took FOR EVER for it to get from the previous stop to driving up to the BORING THREE (at ST GENIEZ-PRADO. ) Oh for heaven sakes. She gets off at her stop PRADO- TUNIS- and walks towards her husband’s school where he teaches. She feels very safe and secure and at peace. She is wearing her long black coat. She is French. (She wishes).
Okay – note:
I’m thinking of writing in third person for this NON book I’m writing. What do you think of this so far? SHould it be Third person, or should it be I, I, I, I, I, I, I.
I hate that.
But it IS all about *I* – Me – My — MOI experiences. What am I to do……….?
Loved the reference to the prayer beads as the guy attempted to untangle his headphones.
I think using the third person makes it interesting…..you could personalize by saying “Marti waited at the bus stop for which seemed like ………” rather than “I” , so the third person might work. Then it sounds more like a novel than an autobiography.. Keep them coming!
Marti, I like the 3rd person. I felt pulled into the story and wondering what ‘she” was going to see or do. Thank you for your efforts.
Think it should be in she and at the end, she is me. Lol