The missing moon startled me as soon as I stepped outside. I checked the time on the phone, 4:49. Earlier, a peek at the new day, revealed a beautiful full moon bathing the early morn with glorious moonlight. Now, in the hour it had taken me to get ready for work, the bewitchingly beautiful moon had vanished.
My eyes raced to the eastern horizon fearing that the sun, making his usual grand entrance, had again chased her away, but the stars signalled that he was not yet ready to display his brilliance. Hoping to catch one last glimpse of the silver beauty before the sun arrived, I frantically searched behind every tree and under every cloud without success.
Burdened with the denied wishes for thirty days of moonlight and a heart filled with disappointment, I started out on my daily quest to reach work early. Forty minutes of
brisk walking and I arrived at a suitable bus stop (seat and shelter from the elements). Fifteen minutes later, as I was listening to the bells on the church clock, a minibus came flying around the corner. Before I could stick out my hand to stop it, it was past the stop in a flash. “Let it go” I muttered to myself in disgust, now regretting the decision to let two Transport Board buses pass me by earlier.
Suddenly the minibus came to a halt and I found myself running towards it. This is something that I never do and had no idea why I was doing it now, since I still had plenty of time to get to work. I got on and we were off. The driver drove like I drive; no time to waste, anticipate, don’t hesitate, pause and get pass. Move… get out the way, get out the way, get out the way.
Halfway to Bridgetown a cry of “Eyy!” rang out.”Eyyy!” louder this time and the minibus screeched to a halt. “Eyyy! Eyyy!” he shouted again and the driver kept his foot on the brake. Almost everyone turned peering into the darkness trying to find this man of few words. After what felt like an eternity, but was probably not more than four minutes, a woman, followed by a man carrying a little boy in his arms, emerged from the darkness . They hurried to the bus and the woman got on board. The shirtless man then placed the boy next to her and waved goodbye.
Able-bodied men occupied all the seats at the front of the bus, but none of them felt it necessary to offer the woman a seat. Here was a little boy, less than five years old, roused from his warm bed early on a cold morning, and now being forced to stand on a minibus surrounded by so-called men. The lady steered the boy into a corner, held on to the handrail and positioned herself so that her thighs would prevent him from falling. The driver then proceeded to Bridgetown at a vastly reduced speed. Obviously a kind and considerate person. It disturbed me greatly that a bus filled with Bajans could display such callousness, but worse was yet to come.
That evening, while waiting at a bus stop on the outskirts of Bridgetown, a middle-aged man and an old man in his eighties, stopped a Transport Board bus filled to overflowing with people standing on the steps and travelling to St. Philip. In spite of this the driver still stopped. Obviously a kind and considerate person right?
The middle-aged man passed his fare to someone to drop into the fare box for him and received his ticket. The old man, aided by a walking stick in one hand and an umbrella in the other, tottered towards the bus and the driver remarked, “Tell him there’s no room for him” The old contemplated the message for a moment. Determined to get home, he replied, “I will go through the back door.” He continued tottering towards the bus and the driver repeated his mantra, “Tell him there’s no room for him.” As the young women sitting in the reserved seats turned to watch, the middle-aged man complied and then squeezed through the said back door.
As the doors closed and the bus moved off, another middle-aged man sitting at the bus stop told the old man, “Come and sit down, another one will come before tomorrow.” He replied, now wary of being bitten twice; “I’ve got to hope there’s room in the next one.”
Today people are inconsiderate, ill-mannered, aggressive, selfish and greedy. When a society ceases to care about its children and elderly, then the end is just around the corner.
Tomorrow there will be no room for any of us.