January is complete. This is always a nice psychological boost. It feels like spring is on the horizon. As you leave work there is still a tinge of daylight in the air. If like me, you have time measured by the second in the morning to ensure the longest possible lie in, then you notice that it is bright by the time you rouse yourself from your slumber-pit. Spring is approaching. This feels good.
Then you remember that February is pretty damned terrible as a month also. Cold, harsh, bleak and grey. With nothing to brighten your mood except for a Hallmark inspired, fake celebration of couple-hood in the middle the month.
And you are single
Let me tell you, my mood on the way to the wastelands this morning was foul. The bus was late – well of course it was. Why wouldn’t it be during rush hour? Once on board there was this intensely, irritating clanging sound from an unidentified location – it was probably a window rattling, but I nevertheless, peered disapprovingly from beneath the rim of my spectacles at my fellow passengers. I wouldn’t put it past those miscreants to create that noise, purely to prevent me from snoozing comfortably during the morning trek. Which one of them was it? I wanted to send bad karma in their direction.
Not that peace or quiet was even an option this morning. There was a class reunion occurring. For a gaggle of seven year olds.
As I boarded, a pair of eye-patch and spectacle sporting, ginger, identical twin sisters positioned themselves behind me. They are fairly regular travel mates of mine. They are rather clumsy though. I suppose having a lazy-eye, requiring an eye-patch, and a set of glasses to assist the other non-bedazzled eye, means that their vision is limited. This leads to a certain level of gracelessness, and a tendency to bump into things. I can empathise. Their poor mother looks rather harried though. She is also in charge of a boisterous three year old in a buggy.
Well today there was much mirth. About two stops into our journey, two devil-may-care young gentlemen of about the same age as our intrepid heroines boarded. They were both swigging from take-away cups of Insomnia hot chocolate. They were accompanied by a comely young gentleman in his mid-twenties. That’s a young father, I tutted disapprovingly and judgementally to myself.
DILFtastic though he may have been, he still ought to have learned about contraception in school.
The two girls seemed a touch smitten by the two boys.
‘Wha’ are yew doin’ on dis bus? Yew don’ live round heeyor?’ they shrieked excitedly, in their musical Dublin accents, clearly thrilled to be having this unexpected early morning encounter with classmates they’d be spending the rest of the day with.
It turns out that the boys’ responsible adult wasn’t in fact their Da. Rather he was their uncle. Their Ma was working night shift, so they’d spent the night at his gaff. He was taking them to school that morning. The only problem was that he’d had to bribe them with hot chocolate to get them to behave.
This fascinating tale was recounted at an earsplittingly loud volume.
Mother and uncle acknowledged each other with a barely perceptible nod of the head. They ignored each other for the rest of the journey.
They all disembarked together. Mammy and buggy, uncle, the ginger twins and their hot-chocolate swigging beaux.
All ready for a new day.
I turned morosely around, trying to source the location of the clanging.