Waiting for the 42. 8.30am.
It was a warm, muggy morning. There hadn’t been a bus for a while. On the bench next to me, mothers and drunks fanned themselves, sighing. And in the space just to the right of the bus stop, a little boy was dancing.
There could have been a bit of Kpanlogo in there; certainly some hip hop moves. The boy was wearing a primary school uniform, and as he danced his tie began to fly madly around, and his white shirt billowed and rippled like a sail in full wind. He kicked up dust with his feet. His arms made graceful yet unpredictable arcs in the air. He was dancing on his own – as if no one were watching, as we are encouraged to do by well-meaning greeting cards – and he looked serene.
Then the 42 arrived, and the boy came to a stop. What really grabbed me was that, before taking his mother’s hand to board the bus, he solemnly tucked in his shirt. The time for dancing was done; now to work.