Morning alarm

The school bus arrives at 7 am every day.
It notifies everyone, even the non-student me,
with its shrill piercing horn.
I’m lucky if I’m awake by then.
Else it feels like a spear puncturing my ear,
or a nail being hammered in from the other ear,
or both happening at the same time,
and nail and spear both facing off at a boxing match
in the ring that is my brain.
I even imagine them like two out-of-form Muhammad Alis.
They float like stones; their stings are worse than bees.

If the driver feels generous,
or if lazy school kid has not turned up yet,
he honks again – one hello is not enough.
I hear a gate creak,
the kid boards the bus,
or so I think.
The vehicle trundles down the street,
and if Mr. Driver’s up to it,
he even honks a goodbye.
Or several goodbyes.
Like he will be missed.

His goodbye triggers a domino effect,
waking up the dogs on the opposite terrace
who begin barking
to fill the acoustic lull.

Long after the bus is gone,
and shortly after the dogs have gone silent,
when the fleeting calm stands in the street until it is chased again,
I wonder
who will fill the void in our lives?
Bonus question: Do I not like the void?
Who will take me back to sleep?
And often:
why can’t the bloody kid stand at the gate before the bus arrives?


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