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August 22, 2009

The Consolation of Buses

Taking Alain de Botton as an inspiration, Tanya Gold has become writer in residence at the Edgware Bus Station. I would do the same at the Spadina streetcar platform but I suspect TTC security would show me the door in short order.

I approach a woman. I explain that I am in the writer-in-residence at this bus stop and I ask her, what is the central narrative of your life? Who are you? The woman looks at me. "I am an overweight mother of two with an awful job," she says. I scribble down – "Hates job." And why are you here? "I want to catch a bus."

Then I speak to a man reading a newspaper. He is called Graham. He is chubby and affluent; he looks content. I ask, who are you? "I am a building surveyor," he says. "I spend my days looking at broken guttering. I am one of the non-people." And is this what you want? "I would rather be sailing a yacht round the Caribbean," he says. And he gets on a 340 to Harrow Weald. I scribble: "Dreams of water."

"I am one of the non-people." Such is the bus stop of our discontent.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at August 22, 2009 10:03 AM