It’s almost midnight at the bus station. If you were there you would see six people. A couple of old blokes wearing rugby jumpers (Carn the ‘Tahs!), a young mother and her daughter who might be ten or so, Kayla the driver, and Charlie. Charlie doesn’t care what game the girl is playing on her iPod touch. He doesn’t care to know what article the girl’s mother is reading that’s so funny she just snorted. He doesn’t care that Kayla is giving him the eye. And he doesn’t care about the rugby. Charlie is here so he can be alone. Not with his thoughts though – in fact just the opposite. He takes the bus for the sensory experience. Charlie likes that Greyhound bus overnight long haul feeling. The smell of boots and sweat and air conditioning. The taste of stale Cheezels bought from a bus station vending machine. The blurring of the townstreescarspeople out the window and the shuddering of his bones all the way down the Hume. Charlie loves the middle of the night comfort stop, the leg stretches, the watery coffee, the deep black silhouettes of gum trees at dawn. The Greyhound bus it seems is a healing place for a troubled soul. Charlie is counting on it. And maybe Kayla is too.


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