American public transit gothic

  • Your map says the bus is due. The transit system app says the bus is due. Moovit says the bus is due. The schedule at the bus stop says the bus is due. The automated system you texted INFO to says the bus is due. You find yourself almost believing it.
  • You show up to the bus stop a few minutes early just to be safe. The bus already left. It laughs in the face of your hubris. You are reminded of how powerless you really are.
  • You are walking to the bus stop. The bus is pulling away from the bus stop. You chase after it. You wonder if this is how Sisyphus feels.
  • It is raining. You question the existence of any god who would allow this.
  • The payment system keeps changing. Scan a QR code, swipe a card, tap a card, pay on your phone, pay before you board, pay after you board, say the right incantation, sprinkle some dirt from the foundation of your childhood home on the seat, draw a hyper realistic portrait of your lover on the window. Make sure to bring cash and a dry erase marker.
  • The bus pulls into a stop. It stays there for an uncomfortably long amount of time. No one knows what it’s waiting for. We all held our breaths.
  • The bus pulls into a stop. The driver makes everyone get off. It’s not the last stop. It stirs up your fear of abandonment.
  • You get off the bus to catch a connecting bus to a tram that will take you to the ferry to catch another bus to the train station to catch a train to the metro. You still cannot shake the shrouded figure following you.
  • You get off at your stop. You walk two more miles. You are reminded of the futility of it all.
  • You told someone you took the bus there. They stared at you unblinkingly. You see fear in their eyes. You lower your gaze. You don’t think they are afraid of you, but you can’t be sure.
  • The bus doesn’t run on weekends. Everyone must stay home, where there is the illusion of safety. For all the good that does.


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