Monologue #670

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The bus at 3 in the morning, tucked into myself. I’m using two sweaters as a pillow and holding my feet against the armrest, sleep coiled like a spring. Unconscious and absolutely filled with potential energy. Lauren mimics my pose in the seats across the aisle. I suppose I mimic her, copied her limbs because I couldn’t sleep sitting up anymore. I have my passport in a money-belt against my womb – sweaty – and my strawberry purse around my neck and tucked beneath me. I wake up, tousled, as the bus once again seems to rise in the air and drop all of its bolts, just to reattach and drop onto the road again. We roaches of the dark settle back into our transient nests. I look at Lauren in the sci-fi blue light of the aisleway between us. How odd to find such comfort in someone practically a stranger. We arrive at 5 am and the weather is perfect to walk home in – the sky a fading cobalt, like tired roof tiles in Budapest. We walk empty streets with backpacks full of creased maps holding us to the cobblestones. A Sunday morning on the precipice of day. In the shower I find the pinch of blisters on my feet, tucked against tough skin gone soft in the three months of shoewear. My soles ache for the dirt of summer, to be cracked and raw and strong. Healed through hardness.

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