What Happens in 45

On my way back from Dave’s house I suffered four curious episodes.

After parting ways with Aaron and before I made my way past Celtic Corner, two women emerged from said saloon, one obviously drunk, and struggling against her companion’s attempts at returning her indoors. The slosh (Barbara, Engineer, Rolls Royce Marine Power) availed herself of my happening by and sloppily requested “Will you walk me home?” Somewhat takenaback I manage “I am a strange man, you should listen to your friend and go back inside.” Her friend nodded in agreement, and was desperate for Barb to get a cab.

But Barbara was having none of it, and I was her means of escape. “Don’t worry, he’s probably not even into me” (true) she continued, attempting to assuage the (understandable) fears of her friend. So, I relented, and it was an easy, if rather silly, walk to very near where I was going anyway. “Call your friend and let her know you’re safe” I demanded as she pushed inside her front door.

Next to Barbara’s very cute Fairbank Street domus is my bus stop, complete with a dozen or so millings-about. It’s a warm evening and I am leaning up against the outside of the middle of three bus shelters. To my left I see a man emerge from a shelter, harsh streetlights backlighting him and hiding his face. I take no more notice until a woman, 5 foot nothing with long hair and a spring jacket, storms at hurried pace out of the same shelter and begins shouting at the man “wahusayugwoouside” in a voice I can best describe as something East Asian.

After her repeating this same “wadusayugwoouside” several times I puzzled it out: “Why didn’t you say why you were going outside?” Our heroine then ripped a cloth bag the man was partially concealing in his jacket, removed a liquor bottle from it, and smashed it on the pavement. She then stormed away shouting, and he followed.

Not two minutes past when another woman (20s, brunette, unremarkably dressed in jeans and a waist length and purple coat of the kind one might find at Mountain Equipment Co) approached my vicinity and asked a smoking man beside me for a cigarette. He gave her one, she nipped the end, returned the balance, and skinned up at fatty right there.

Sooooo….. a few buses showed up that weren’t mine and deposited travelers. One, a middle aged man with a fat red nose, approached me and asked “Are you waiting for a 1?” I nodded. “These holiday hours are all screwed up. The last bus to Halifax might have left already” he continued. “Oh” I replied, only mildly concerned at the prospect of walking given the fine aforementioned weather. But then… “Yeah, I might have to walk the bridge, and I’ve got curfew” he said, his girth, bulbous coat, and towering stature somehow all becoming significant to me. “We might be walking it together if I’m right.”

“Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit. I have to walk across the bridge with the ex con. Who elected me escort? What the fuck is happening? Can I run? Is running allowed here?” so went my internal monologue. But rescued I was by an unlooked for 52, and if buddy made it home by curfew I can’t tell you.

What can happen in 45 minutes.

Robin Lindsay
rockrobinoff[at]gmail.com

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