4:45 alarm automatic coffee black no sugar. Frost glazes the street. Bus early. Driver sleeping in the draft from the doors. Next to man whose breath stinks of pig shit. Spat out beside warehouse – breathing steam trains with the spiders. Reading old notepads – looking for beautiful phrases and hooks. Night blue sky pinned up with Venus. Street cleaner whine. Floodlights reflect from the underside of power lines. Dustcarts frolic in the dump, their amber warning lights whirling up the walls. The smell of maple syrup from the bakery that isn’t open – tease. Rattle shutters peel back. Crash. Into the warehouse. The air is slab cold. Space-heater roar and rattle like a dying tractor on the roof. Log on, ram-bars, cones, customers, lost stock, inaccurate counting, mammoth delivery, cardboard crush, management smoke, fly infestation, blocked sewer, batteries depleted. Hand over the baton to the next shift. Roll dice – sign out.
I’m a writer on a bus.
–Benjamin F Jones