Micro fiction: One of Them!

The bus is boarded at the usual stop, at the usual time on a standard grey weekday morning. It is lined from side to side with suits, blouses and skirts. MP3 players in most ears, phones in the hands of some, and the Metro in the hands of others. It’s like any other bus journey at rush hour.

By the time the bus hits the motorway, there is no longer standing room only. Packed in, single file, like custard crèmes in their packets. No one’s talking, eye contact is somehow forbidden and I feel ill, ill at all the suits going towards their 9-5 routines, ill at the concept, some with ambition, but all the wrong places.

I pull out the phone, I surf the web, check the news and then pull out my MP3 player. I pump the volume up to 20 and try and choose the appropriate selection for my journey. I never do, and it reminds me that I need new music. I always forget to update it. I look to the person beside me, another suit, another MP3 player, another Metro…

I straighten my tie, and try to prepare for the day ahead. Another slog through the monotony of the working life. I feel I’m the only one that’s gotten the joke, the only one that’s realised just how much a life a 9-5 existence isn’t. The bus is warm, I loosen my tie then it dawns on me: I’m part of the same joke. I’ve become one them .

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