There’s always that level of uncertainty when you’re on a bus and getting wet. You need to process the hows and whys of your increasing dampness quickly and concisely. Take action swiftly to halt any further saturation.
Is it coming up from below? Arguably the worst kind of dampness you can experience on public transport is that of the already damp seat. Because you don’t know if that was a leaky window, someone spilling a drink, a wet bag or just a random passenger pissing themselves.
My dampness was not that. It was definitely coming from above.
So then it’s roof or window. Both are viable options. In fact, as I got wet on the bus I looked above me and the ceiling of the bus had the sort of stain you’d see on a ceiling tile of a suspended ceiling. Mayhaps, I thought, the water is coming from directly above.
But also directly in front of me, the window was open. And while it wasn’t raining particularly hard or fast, it is a well known fact that all bus windows are designed in such a way as to somehow channel the rain like it’s being fired from a cannon and deposit it onto the passenger in the seat before the one that’s over the wheel.
This was the source of my discomfort. Bus aerodynamics and weather conspiring to make my journey less comfortable.
So I did what anyone would do in the situation.
I shut the window.
One of the other design quirks of a bus window is that when you shut it it will slam with a force greater than that which was applied to it. The spring on a bus window contains such great potential energy, that were you to really push hard on the window to close it you could probably cause the bus to flip over just from the force of the window closing.
And so comes the bit directly after the closing of a window.
The bus window is the modern day equivalent of a stranger walking into a Wild West saloon.
Every passenger on the bus turns and looks at you, trying to work out what it is you have done that has caused such noise. They look at you with distrust. It does, after all, sound like you have just punched the window of the bus. Hard.
Startled pensioners, it turns out, move as one. Like a flock of starlings dancing through the sky. But with more blue rinses and beige jackets. They all whip their heads round like permed meerkats.
And move their lips in a muttering way, but no sound comes out. Like Snape casting spells on Harry Potter during Quidditch.
The look for what seems like an eternity. Then turn back, as one. They are Legion, and they are satisfied that you haven’t punched a window. Probably. There are still some mutterings taking place, but generally the talk has gone back to who has died recently and what diseases they have between them.