One minute you have enough time for one last pint. Then three pints later you’re running for the last bus. Which was why when I made it to Pearse Street, I hoped against hope that the one of the buses approaching in the distance would have the lucky number 67 on their front.
When the blurred digits on the front of the first bus in the procession came into focus, I saw that it was out of service.
Same story with the next three.
They were all finished and going nowhere right now but back to the depot.
Right as the homing beacon was about to kick in and have me walk halfway home before hailing a cab to save a few euro, a bus pulled in right in front of me.
When I didn’t even have my hand out.
A bus driver looking for passengers? Nothing strange about that at all.
The doors opened with a hiss, and I realised I hadn’t even caught the route number.
“Come on, we’ve got lives to live,” said the driver.
“But where are you going?” I asked him.
“Home,” he said. “Chop, chop.”
It must have been the beer that made that make sense, because I climbed on, fishing my travelcard out of my wallet. But I couldn’t find the scanner, where it should have been.
“Don’t worry about it,” said the driver.
I couldn’t really see his face, what with the low light and the thick, scratched Perspex between us.
“The ride is free, is it?” I asked him.
He laughed, as the doors closed behind me and the bus pulled away from the kerb. “No such thing as a free ride, pal. You know that.”Continue reading “The Last Bus”