segunda-feira, janeiro 14, 2008

the waiting at the bus-stop

The seeing of a taxi.
The thinking: not yet. I've only just got here.
The noticing someone else arrive.
The sizing up of him/her.
The pretending I'm not looking at him/her.
The not pretending I'm not looking at him/her.
The looking past him/her into the distance as if to see if bus
is coming.
The really looking into the distance.
The thinking: is that the bus?
The continuing to look until it comes closer.
The seeing that it is not a bus, but a large truck.
The thinking: shall I take a taxi after all?
The thinking: I might as well have taken the first taxi. I've waited
all this time for nothing if I take a taxi now.
The noticing two other people arrive at the bus-stop.
The seeing that these two are not yet impatient.
The thinking: they're thinking it will be here soon.
The guessing what these two do together.
The sizing up of them unobtrusively.
The feeling surprised at the first waiting person, who doesn't look at the new two
at all. Is not curious. Is only waiting.
The thinking: what if we take a taxi with the four of us.
The wondering where the others are going.
The getting cold.
The seeing of many buses going in the opposite direction.
The thinking: where are they all, they must come back this way eventually.
The imagining of the terminus, the turning.
The thinking: if I take a taxi it's expensive and I've wasted all that time now anyway.
The remembering of the same thought from yesterday.
The remembering remembering the same thought yesterday.
The deciding: I'm just going to take a taxi.
The waiting for a taxi.
The seeing full taxis passing by.
The thinking: tomorrow I'll take the first empty taxi straight away.
The remembering of the same thought from yesterday.
The thinking that it can't be much longer now before the bus comes.
The imagining of an enormous traffic jam in the distance.
The contemplating walking.
The imagining how the bus will drive past before I have reached the next stop.
The thinking that walking warms one up.
The forbidding oneself to look to see if bus is coming.
The counting of cars.
The forbidding oneself to look to see if bus is coming until at least a hundred cars have gone past.
The seeing of many empty taxis among the cars.
The thinking that it makes no sense to take a taxi now.
The thinking that now it is actually high time to take a taxi.
The considering to write this down one day.
The wondering if other people also think like this.
The wondering what the objective right moment is to take a taxi: immediately, after waiting a short time or after waiting a long time.
The remembering of parents who never took a taxi.
The trying to remember special occasions when parents did take a taxi.
The noticing how crowded it has become at the bus-stop.
The thinking: at a full bus-stop - wait, at an empty bus-stop - take a taxi.
The realising how much it would cost
to take a taxi every day.
The calculating that this would be less expensive
than owning a car.
The imagining how it would be to have a flat tyre
on a deserted autostrada in howling wind and pouring rain.
The realising that the cars are driving past without being counted.
The realising that after thirty or forty the mind has wandered.
The estimating that it was more like two hundred.
The seeing on the watch that only six minutes have passed.
The being thankful that it is not raining.
The drinking of a cup of tea in the imagination.
The wondering if there are also any biscuits in the house.
The fright at realising that the key -
The discovering of the key in the other pocket.
The imagining how far six minutes walking -
The deciding that it stinks.
The thinking of the many murders of taxi drivers.
The imagining of a blood-smeared empty taxi.
The wondering if other people think of murder so often.
The thinking not.
The not knowing why not.
The wondering if other people also often wonder
what other people are wondering.
The wondering if other people ever wonder
what I wonder.
The not noticing that the bus has come.

Judith Herzberg (n.1934)

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