Strangers stare as I step on. What if I trip up before I even get on the bus? I bet they hate my clothes. Head to toe in black; this is why I’ll never fit in.
Bus driver said, “Morning”. This is new. Of course, my brain fails me. I cut straight to the exchanging of money and the name of my desired destination, ignoring his attempt at polite small-talk. I seem impolite, as usual. Poor bus driver.
Wrong money. Too much, not enough – it’s bound to be off somehow. I counted it twenty times. They’ve changed the price. Great, now I look like I can’t count. Like I’m cheap. Quickly, I just say thank you and hurry for my seat.
Worse. What if when in my rush to be seated, (so i don’t fall when the bus driver inevitably pulls away while I’m still in the walkway… resulting in me being catapulting into the nearest victim), someone sits by me. Their leg against mine. My brain screaming at me the entire journey. Are they as aware of this as i am?
Worse still. Having to stand. Gripping on for dear life onto the hand holds dangling down. I’m highly un-coordinated. I’m in the way. My fat arse, and a huge bag filled with objects that I don’t feel safe away from home without. I’m falling again. Being a nuisance.
Desperately trying not to make eye contact. Ignorant.
Not wanting to seem impolite. Not wanting to give enough of a reason for someone to comment. Smiling too much. Always end up rudely staring. Zoning out. Or observing… always observing. Far too invested in people’s conversations. Constantly watching people like they’re my own personal TV show. Watching how people engage. Watching their mannerisms. Fascinating.
They all look so natural in this environment. They all know their part to play in society. They portrey it well. Perfectly executed.
What if I look weird? Besides the obvious zoning off and staring. I look weird; visibly nervous. What if they think I’m up to something? What if they think something is wrong with me?
What if someone strikes up a conversation? My mouth full of unfocused, meaningless sentences. Feigned interest written all over my face. Can they tell? I have little to no desire to converse with these people. Just let me enjoy watching you. Don’t make my brain have to work, just let me switch it off.
I’ll only say something inappropriate, damaging their perfect facade with my jagged, nonchalant responses. So just save us both the worry and don’t interact with me.
Who leaves first? Do I wait until everyone has left and look like one of those weirdly, overly nice people? Or do I wait until someone lets me go? What if no one lets me go? What if my preferred seat (second back on the left, for those that care) is taken?
Then I’m at the back. Who lets who off first then? Do I see a gap and run? What if, due to this act of panic, I trip and fall? God knows I’ll be thinking of this selfish perturbation for the rest of the week if it were to happen…
The last worry to top this journey off… what if I’m departing earlier than the last stop. I have to press that damn stop button.
An unnecessarily loud “ping” notifies everyone to prepare for the huge cow to waddle off. Great. I sit anxiously at the edge of my seat. Prepared. Can’t stand too early, I’ll fall. Can’t wait too long, people will be frustrated with me. I stand up at the perfect time, and proceed in the walk of shame down the walkway.
I step out onto the path. I survived.
Now to cross the road.