prelude. waking and waiting.

Cold faces. Eyes filled with the same grey that looms in the clouds and damp street puddles. Strangers wait for the bus, staring forward to avoid the chance of looking at each other. A man wears a tall coat and an eggplant-colored turtleneck. A woman to his right contemplates how awful her breakfast was, which in turn reminds her of how awful she thinks her life is. Another girl sitting on the bench stares at the man in the turtleneck. She has been infatuated with him since last March, when he smiled and helped after she dropped her groceries in the crosswalk. He has no idea, and may never know, because she has immense self-esteem issues and feels like she doesn’t deserve somebody like him. This is a shame because he bought his eggplant-colored turtleneck after inferring that she has a knack for purple things. Filling up the rest of the bench are two best friends, an everyday Joe and everyday Jane. They have known each other since the second grade, when they were tied together in a three-legged race at the Racine County Fair. They are perfect for each other, and everybody knows this but them.

As the grey in the sky sees to grow heavier and more burdensome, the bus-waiters inevitably contemplate. When you wake up at the same time and wait for the same bus, it is easy to believe that our lives are recycled scripts, with occasionally compelling twists. As compelling as these twists may be, most of us will believe that life is simply a oscilation between waking and waiting. This thought could crush the souls of our bus-waiters, but fate knows better. Fate knows that life doesn’t shift in dramatic swings. Fate delivers its blows in the form of subtle pushes, a nudge so minor and light it feels irrelevant at the time it happens. The girl on the bench suddenly feels a cold sensation on the tip of her nose. She looks up, bewildered, and utters one word:



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