At 10am in Torrevieja the sun was already hindering my eyesight and all of the layers I was wearing began to feel highly unnecessary.
If the bus that I’d been waiting before decided to be delayed by a few minutes. I would have considered shedding my winter jacket and throw it in the garbage. I didn’t feel like standing up, nor exerting more energy that would cause more temperature induced discomfort. Blocking heavy sun rays with my right hand, I decided to instead sit out my final handful of minutes in this southern coastal city next to a vending machine.
A grey haired security guard shifted weight between soft strides as he compared the knots of his shoelaces.
The taste of a slightly overpriced black coffee lingered in my palate as I pulled out my moleskin notebook in an effort to distract myself.
There wasn’t anything I wanted to write and soon the huffing from a Costa Azul bus line coughed it’s way into a nearby passenger loading platform.
The lady at the ticket counter told me to wait in front of platform number six, and this bus that just perched itself was waiting at number nine.
“Go ask the driver where it’s going.”
An elderly man with short white hair and a plaid button down shirt leaned forward in the seat next to me.
I stood up and tried to make eye contact with the driver, in an attempted Jedi mind trick to find out where his bus was going. It didn’t work and my hesitation prompted the old man to cajole me forward.
“Just ask the driver. Maybe it’s going to Alicante.” I smiled and nodded at the guy, as he seemed to be knowledgeable about the workings of Torrevieja buses.
I clutched my backpack and approached the driver. He confirmed that this indeed was my bus, seven minutes early and docked at the wrong platform.
Before handing the Costa Azul employee my ticket that cost four euros, I turned back to the elderly man.
“Thank you! You were right.”
The bus’ ignition was still running as I felt a sudden urge to initiate small talk.
“Where are you going to?”
In a half smile he did his best to glance up at me for as long as the pestering sunlight would permit.
“Me, well, I’m not going anywhere.”
Looking at the old man, the weight of my backpack felt a little heavier.
In a pretend laugh, “You’re just having a rest.”
He continued the half smile and gave me a one word “yes.”
This was probably a good time to leave so I said farewell and boarded the waiting bus.
The old man kept leaning forward as other travelers shuffled around the terminal.
The now crumpled up ticket of paper read “Alicante” but as the transport reversed away from the platform I didn’t really know if I was going anywhere, either.