The Number 35 Bus

Before I began school, my mother brought me to work with her every day. When she finished cleaning house, we’d wait at the bus stop and talk. That was our thing, waiting and talking, just her and me. She always wore a shapeless brown coat. I didn’t like brown but she told me it was a serviceable colour that hid the dirt. My coat was beautiful—tweed with a plush velvet collar and pocket flaps. I vowed to never stop wearing it. My mother tried to explain I’d grow out of it. I disagreed. Growing out of it was never going to happen……

Our bus was the number 35. When it came, my mother helped me onto the open platform at the back. The silvery metal pole that ran from floor to ceiling near the edge of the platform felt cool against my hand. I liked the green colour of the bus too, and the way the seat fabric tickled the backs of my legs. Mostly I liked the conductor who always gave me an unused roll of ticket paper to play with.

Purchase the anthology at Pure Slush, or read the full essay here: The Number 35 Bus