There is a wonderfully confident girl sitting at the front of the bus. “You remember I got slapped, yeah? I got punched. Well the girl who did it had to go to hospital. Cos I don’t let anyone do anything.”
I think they are about twelve. The shorter one has black eyeliner painted out from the corner of the eyes and rosy blusher. She has not done her make-up well, but is practising, and will soon. She has a loud deep voice which made me fear they would mock my trans status until I realised that they are not interested in me. The taller one with a softer voice tries to join in but is mostly listening and learning. They look down on passers-by: that one is A’s boyfriend, no she dumped him.
The taller one has a problem with drafts at her window, and the shorter says she should board them up like her gran’s.
-I don’t want my windows boarded up.
-Well, you take them down during the day.
-OmiGod Miller? She had a toothache, she had a hole in that tooth there. She’s only three. No calpol. She took an energy drink and she said [mimicking higher, softer voice] Mummy, I don’t have a toothache any more.
–You know what to do when she has a toothache, then. Give her an energy drink or pull her tooth out. I don’t think I’ve ever been to the dentist.
-I want to see the bus station blown up. [That was weeks ago.]
-Is this a one way system? [yes, it is.]
They are struggling to know about their world.
In Oliver’s, we have competition for the most erudite conversation- I heard no detail, but did hear a man at the next table mention TS Eliot. We win when Richard shows me the equations calculating the mass and size of the Universe:
M4PL MU =_______ MP2Me ~8.8x1052kg 2GM RS=_____ c2 G=6.67x10-11Nm2kg-2 c=3x108ms-1 13.8x109 light years.