We never make eye contact. We’ve never discussed it – or, indeed, anything at all. But we all do it. A quiet conspiracy of silent strangers, organised with such secrecy that even we are scarcely aware of it. Every morning we approach our stop and the game begins. Russian office-worker roulette. Or maybe it’s chicken.
No-one pushes the button. We get closer and closer. Maybe we’re hoping for permission. Peer pressure. I’ll skip work if you do. Or maybe we’re just wondering – if nobody hit the button, would he stop anyway? Inevitably, someone remembers an unmissable meeting, or a presentation, or a cute temp’s last shift, and with the tolling of a small, far too cheerful bell, our fates are sealed for another day. With an unexpressed communal groan we disembark. The bus lurches on, the driver sad. Once more his dream of a surprise rebellious excursion to the beach (or candy mountain) going unfulfilled.