Crushing a half-smoked cigarette beneath my shoe as I waited for the bus, a pile of dead leaves came to life. Others were standing around me, but none of them seemed to notice. The leaves danced to a song I couldn’t hear, and as they climbed high into the air, I could taste the magic as if it were sugar on my lips. But then a passing truck caused them to scatter, and just like that, the moment was over. When the bus finally turned up, I got on without issue, but the driver argued with several other passengers. He was miserable, and the sight of people seemed to set him off. Wrong job. Wrong life. At the back of the bus sat a group of teenage girls making such a racket that it wasn’t long before I could feel my temples throbbing. To make matters worse, my headphones had no charge, so I had no choice but to listen to them for fifteen minutes before I could escape. I’ve no idea what any of them were talking about. Their chatter was as banal as the sight of all the factories and trashed garages that passed me by as my nostrils steamed up the window inches from my cold nose. Empty vessels make the loudest sound, and those girls droned on and on until I thought my ears and eyes would start bleeding. Getting off at the station, I walked back to mine without looking up from the ground. There was nothing of interest to inspect, just an endless labyrinth of shitty streets reeking of thinly-veiled desperation, and I’ve enough of that in my life already.