bus to Richmond

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Travel  |  House: Booksie Classic
A very, very short story about a man I met at a bus stop some years ago. I can't even remember when.

Submitted: November 02, 2011

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Submitted: November 02, 2011



I met Jimmy at the bus stop one day. He told me he loved his dog which was so small he could fit it in his pocket. Jimmy said his dog was good company. Jimmy was 70 and he had a free bus pass which meant he could ride the buses and tubes all day. He had a girlfriend and four grown up kids. He had the kind of blue eyes that that would have stopped you in your tracks thirty or forty years ago. But now they looked to me like they were glazed over with cataracts. His body was thin and his clothes were torn and a little scruffy. I thought Jimmy looked neglected and his grilfriend and four children weren't looking after him like they should. Mind you, some people don't like to be looked after or told what to do. Jimmy seemed lonely to me but what do I know. He had a slight Irish accent and it gave him a kind of charm. He was still attractive in a strange sort of way. He told me that he had arrived in London in 1952. He said that anything that had ever happened to him had something to do with the number 52. His first house in London was number 52. He was eighteen when he arrived in London and now he was 70. 70 - 18 = 52. London he said had been different then. In 1952 it was the Cornonation and everything was shut. Nothing shuts now he said. He'd played golf for a while on Sundays. He said he'd enjoyed it. Lots of exercise. I asked him what his job was and he told me he'd been a Milkman. Had to start early he said. I could almost hear him whistling outside my door jumping on and off his milk float. Why is it that Milkmen don't really exist anymore. Jimmy said he hadn't seen his wife and children for quite some time. Four kids and a wife he hadn't seen in a while. Dog in his pocket, taking the bus to keep boredom at bay. 

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