On the bus coming home after work this evening, the bus driver was humming Silly Long Songs, as a malcontent brunette glared angrily out the window, mad at nothing and everything all at once. The iPod played a cheery song by The Shins.

Approaching the Donald Street bridge traffic slowed to a crawl. Row upon row of cars snaked their way over the bridge and beyond the horizon. Victim to years of poor traffic management, and the inevitable rush of vehicles streaming out to the suburbs, the bus slowed.

Out of nowhere, the bus driver stopped the bus completely and opened the front doors. Is he okay? he yelled out the door.

Looking out my window, I saw a man sitting on the concrete, knees drawn up to his chin. Blood curled away in a meandering river from where he was sitting to a nearby gutter. A man wearing a Santa suit stood, bent over, hands on knees, over the bleeding man. At the sound of the bus driver’s voice the Santa looked up. The bus driver repeated himself again.

is he going to be okay?

A woman at the front of the bus started laughing loudly, in this braying, lurching manner that send shivers up my spine. A young guy sitting in front of me told the woman to go fuck herself. The sullen girl beside me looked over and muttered, there’s no fucking way that’s really santa. The sound of car horns filled the air.

The man sitting behind me leaned forward and whispered in my ear,

this always happens to me when I take the bus.

The bus driver closed the door, put the bus back into gear, and slowly pulled away, as a small group of people gathered by the Santa. Going home after work.

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