imaginary fiction

by uzwi

People look tireder on this side of things. More aged & used-up. They’re having a harder time of it. It only takes a day or two to realise how privileged & unworn our faces are compared to theirs. Bus station cafe in a suburb of the provincial capital: I was served by a man with a string of saliva hanging from his chin. He had been eating something before I got his attention. In the corner table by the window, one of their transport police was undergoing a kind of role-playing interview, during which he had to demonstrate to the assessor how he would deal with various passenger situations, for instance how would he get someone to stop smoking here in the cafe ? “Here in the cafe ?” “Yes, here. I’m lighting up now, at this table.” Well, that wasn’t a difficult one. He had been taught to end each scenario with calming platitudes like, “Alright mate ? Cheers, mate!”