Well we know where we’re goin’
But we dont know where we’ve been
And we know what were knowin’
But we can’t say what weve seen
Talking Heads – Road to Nowhere
It’s about 1.50pm, Clare and I are still in Harborne and we’re still sitting on the front seat of the top deck of Birmingham’s legendary number 11 bus. We’re sitting to the right of the bus, and – on Lordswood Road – a girl sitting to our left gets up and click-clacks her way down the steps in a pair of presumably-fashionable high heel plimsoles. This may seem fairly inconsequential to you, but for me it was the catalyst for a minor revalation: sitting on the front seat of the top deck might give you a great view of the road ahead, but when it comes to interbus people-watching it’s far from ideal. Visibility is seriously impaired due to the fact that almost everybody else is sitting behind you.
It was, of course, Clare who noticed her shoes: footwear observations aren’t exactly my forte. I wouldn’t have clocked what was on her feet if she staggered past me in a pair of of Elton John’s 4 foot tall Doc Martens.
I assume she’s a regular passenger, not some eejit with a blog and a day off work whose partial to a bit of public transport-based sociological high jinks. This is someone with a destination in mind, who knows exactly where she’s going. She’s the kind of person who uses the bus to get from A to B, not someone who misuses the bus to get from A to A.
It’s probably best if I don’t dwell on the metaphorical implications of any of this.