Synchronised Strangers

by Mel George

When I joined the queue, it already contained two pensioners, a woman in a sari, a teenager thumbing out a text message, a young Chinese guy, another teenager in a cap scuffing the dog-ends on the pavement, a man in glasses reading a book, and a young mother cursing at her screaming child in its buggy. We all looked at the timetable. Our mutual starting point and destination did not occur to us, and we glanced suspiciously at one another and never spoke, like people from foreign worlds with nothing in common. We all looked at our watches. The bus drove by without stopping. We all rolled our eyes, tutted, and ignored each other until the next bus came.


Mel George writes in coffee shops and in the margins of more important things she should be reading.