Wednesday, March 21, 2018

An Awfully Big Adventure

"That's a smoker's cough you got" the man said to me. I was sitting on a bench outside the waiting room of Inverness Bus Station, and he was squatting quite close to me smoking a cigarrette.

And I said, "Why should I have a smoker's cough when I don't smoke?" and he said "You just do".

And I might have added "Maybe it's because you're sitting so close to me smoking" but he said it for me: "Probably because I'm sitting smoking so close to you".

Then he said "Transgender?" which was a kind of impertinent question but I'm never going to deny it. And soon after it was "Have you had the operation?" which was even worse and I told him in a friendly kind of way it was none of his business and he said he understood and then we exchanged names.

I told him my name was Jo and he told me his name was Tiny wand it wasn't a joke. And he showed me an official letter to Mr Tiny So and So and he stood up to show me how tall he was.

"Six foot seven" he said "And it's no joke".

And he said he was going to London and he knew a transwoman and she was a good person.

His wife had met her off the internet and had gone off with her. "Twenty five years of marriage gone", he said, "But I don't mind".

And now he was going down to London to work as a scaffolder. He'd got his certificates and everything. But he'd no work lined up and nowhere to stay either.

He was going down on the overnight bus. He'd got a good sleeping bag and he'd got fifteen quid and it was going to be allright. He wasn't worried.

And I thought of the money hanging round my neck and the loving family I was going to see.

And then I saw my bus appear on its stand and I said I know he hadn't asked me but here was twenty quid and good luck.

And he looked so bleak as I waved to him as the bus drew away.

And I think of him tonight, on the overnight bus down in England somewhere and all that awaits him when he gets off at six tomorrow morning.

Bless you, Tiny. I hope it works out....
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