January 17, 2017, 7:25 AM
On the bus, already squishing myself to the side in anticipation (?) of the Unknown unfolding herself beside me.
A bald, bearded guy opposite, reading the Metro with a prim-mouthed, disgusted expression that makes me think today’s outfit — grey sweatshirt, cargo shorts and hiking runners with black dress socks — a mere costume. His expression, and his socks, belong elsewhere.
Ah, there’s funeral director/estate agent guy. Same pink tie. This time I witnessed him going to the back of the bus. Still not sure that was him sitting behind me yesterday. A girl is sitting behind me today, extracting a long cord from her bag.
(Ah, a new Unknown!)
A Russian czar look-alike is boarding the bus. Trim grey beard, faded blue eyes, such as would demand another drink or an execution. Perhaps that’s his mood this morning. He’s wearing a black suit.
So, now I await the stop where the Big Unknown will board and find her spot taken by a completely bald, early middle-aged man — looks Polish — wearing rain resistant greys and greens, backpack (spotless, unlike mine) and holding before him with both hands an ancient, horizontal clam-shell (?) device with a tiny screen above and keyboard below. Ah, the Unknown has sat down opposite, next to the costumed man.
Anyway, my seat mate is tapping out what no doubt is an encrypted message and I would guess him to be Russian secret-service, but why would he be in Edinburgh? He has that deliberately expressionless face that at first, perhaps, is practiced and then becomes the default. I would try it myself, but my jowls are bad enough as it is. The dead expression gives you nothing to react to, so unless you’re another secret agent, your mind works to populate the canvas and you end up revealing your secrets, unbeknownst even to yourself.
Despite the shiny spotlessness of everything else about him (including his head), his screen is smudged. Hah.
At Waverly. A steady stream of people, only they’re flowing upwards to the pavement. Nothing like in London, though.
That lady is wearing a nice yellow coat. Nice silk scarf and tan, leather bag. She has a slightly embarrassed air as she boards the bus, teetering on self-mockery, but never quite making it. She looked up at me just as I thought this. I’m betting her car broke down — not that she seems the type to have a broken down car, either — and that the bus is not her usual mode of transport. Unlike the Big Unknown, whose reflection I can at last see clearly. And even though I can see her face, it’s still an unknown. Prominent, hooked nose, heavy-lidded eyes (maybe mostly from the time of day) and they are looking down, as if it takes all her strength to keep up her head, but the individual units are free to droop. She looks quite sad as a consequence. She is late 50s. Baby blonde, shortish hair, more bent than curled.
Her downcast expression is rather noble, like that of a Virgin Mary in the medieval frescos. Maybe the fact she didn’t get her regular seat has set her off on a bad day. Her legs (in knee high, brown boots and black tights) are shifted at the knee towards the aisle, as her new seat mate (costumed man) is bulky.
Odd he’s wearing shorts. There always are dedicated short-wearers, no matter the season. They are a mystery to me. I wonder what their sartorial ancestors did when everyone wore tights and doublets (whatever a doublet is). Perhaps it would be correct to assume their ancestors were not of the nobility, as otherwise, why are they always on buses or walking near campuses.