On the bus

men waiting for work

The bus paused for the lights at the large intersection next to the wall where, every day, men congregate in garrulous groups waiting for work. Sometimes I pass when a van draws up, rapid negotiations are transacted and one or more clamber into the back and the van drives off.

Mostly the men stand with their fists pushed hard in their pockets but today I noticed one who was systematically burning the hairs on the back of his hands with his cigarette, between drags. Even from the height of the top of the bus I could see the skin was covered with shiny white sequins of old burn scars.

man with bare feet

I’d scoffed most of a packet of biscuits (it’s a long journey) before realising that while not illegal it might have been inconsiderate.

man with scar

The light on the scar on his knee – that was what I was interested in. But unfortunately the camera wasn’t.