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Staring Out of The Bus Windows at Night

for the: JBaz 'Silent Thought' Challenge.

By Judey Kalchik Published 2 months ago 5 min read
Top Story - September 2023

Thank you, my dear Lord, for this seat. I don't care that it's the sprung seat with the dip to the right. I. Don't. Care. It's sitting. Sitting!

I don't care that it's going to take 45 minutes to make a 20 minute drive. I. Don't. Care. It's sitting. Finally sitting. My butt is clenched and my back is braced against this seat- it's like I actually do have a grip on a pole keeping me upright here. No, not a pole up my a-hole. No matter what HE says.

My back. My feet. Please. Please don't anyone ask me anything. Just. Just nothing. Talk amongst yourselves, people.

Did I lock the safe? Did I? Yes. Yes. Yes I did. I turned it and said it out loud- I locked the safe. Ditto on the back door check. Ditto on the front door. Ditto on the bank drop. Check. Check. Check. Check.

Not that it matters; I'm opening tomorrow anyway. No one would know but me. But I WOULD know. I would know. And I know I did it. I TELL them that - just say it outloud when you do the LP stuff. Just say it. Doesn't make you crazy- it's science or psych or something... the you inside knows when you did the thing and then you don't need to go back and re-check. You can sleep easy knowing that you did what you were supposed to do. I know I did it.

I did it.

I wonder if anyone is still up? Oh please. Please . Please have the kitchen cleaned up. Please have the dishes done. Please have the cat food brought in. Please don't have a basket of dirty clothes waiting for the laundry Brownies to come out at night and put them in the washer.

Ouch! Nailed it dude. That stop sign has only been there 17 years and three days already. Glad it didn't sneak up on you. Great reflexes, Mario Andretti.

Where's my phone? Oh man; where's my.. here it is. I can feel it in my bra. Lucky that stop didn't squish it into my armpit with the way it tossed us around.

I wonder if I can answer my phone by flexing my arm against my boob? I wonder what the odds are of that working? I wonder if I'm giving myself a mammogram with all the invisible waves and electrical imaginary imaginings by putting my phone in my bra? Would it overheat if I kept it in there for too long?

Is that why I get hot flashes?

I'd google it but that would mean that I'd need to hide my boobs with my purse, get under my armpit, and fish it out and everything. That would mean I'd need to move.

I'm not moving.

Is that rain? For the.. no. no. No. If I keep my eyes shut then I can't see out of the windows and then it won't be rain. Please. It can't be rain. No. Rain. No. Rain. No. Rain. Rain. That's rain. Of course it is.

It's rain and the kids will have left their bikes on the front walk again. I know they will. Because why would they start putting them away now? And it gets dark earlier this time of year- no way they would have noticed, and- Yes. Thunder. Of course.

So then I'll take the car tomorrow. He can take the bus. I'll take the car, and take the girls to school on my way in. Do we have coffee? We better have coffee. I'll take the car.

I better leave early because I know I'll need gas. Nope. nope; earlier. Get gas and then come back and get the girls because they won't go to the gas station on the way to school because it isn't cool to have a mom get gas in public. Or have a mom say something isn't cool. Or. Or. Or have me as a mom in general.

I am so f-ing tired. I'm so tired. Oh those bikes. I know they're out there in all of this. And the racoons probably already ate the cat food and they'll give me the 'here comes the loser in the rain look' when I get home. Because why not them, too? Why not?

I'm so tired. I could just stay on this bus all night. Forget the bikes and the laundry and the wet cat food and the thunder and... people ride on busses all night don't they? Or is that subways? I think it's subways. Probably not busses. But I could pretend to be asleep and just miss my stop and who would care? My phone is under my arm fat and it has a good charge and I could just stay on here and sleep until the rain stops and catch the right stop in the next run through or three, right? I could do that. I could do that.

I could do that. I could. I I it's my stop. Stop. This has gotta stop. I

I'm so tired.


This is Jason's post, where he gives the challenge. And it is a challenge that I failed since I exceeded the 600-650 word limit. However I did do it in one sitting and since I used my allowed edit fixing the spelling I didn't remove any words- so here we are and thanks a lot.

Please leave me a comment: Does this monologue seem familiar? Does it taste true? What is the best seat on a bus and do you ever get it? Will you also take part in this unofficial challenge?

I am travelling and in a new time zone and have my days and hours all messed up. The last time I felt this time-drunk I was a retail manager, sitting in my driveway, with my keys in my hand and trying to remember if I was going to work in the dark or had just turned off the car and arrived home. That feeling made this piece all too real. I hope you liked it!

Short Story

About the Creator

Judey Kalchik

It's my time to find and use my voice.

Poetry, short stories, memories, and a lot of things I think and wish I'd known a long time ago.

You can also find me on Medium

And please follow me on Threads, too!

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (21)

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  • D. ALEXANDRA PORTER2 months ago

    Judey Kalchik: I felt this... so tired, finally sitting, not turning off the constant mindfulness and more. Brilliant... Absorbing! 👏✍️👏

  • Ana li Sousa2 months ago

    Muito bom

  • Excellent running inner dialog. So well done giving us all those inner thoughts of your main character.💙Anneliese

  • Awesome Storytelling and Congratulations on your Top Story🎉✌️

  • JBaz2 months ago

    Judey, I am so happy for you. This was a wonderful story. Congratulations

  • Naomi Gold2 months ago

    Not relatable for me—I’m a chronic daydreamer, usually sitting on a bus or train or plane smiling or laughing at an inside joke with myself, some dialogue my “characters” are having as a story formulates, or funny thoughts that’ll go in my next essay. The downside to that is people either think I’m zen or insane. And maybe there’s no difference. However, reading this stressed me out. It made me think I was tired. And that’s because it’s great writing. Very nicely done, and congrats on your Top Story. 🥂

  • Paul Stewart2 months ago

    Thought I had already commented on this piece of awesomeness. Great take on the challenge and congratulations on Top Story, Judey-joo!

  • Celia in Underland2 months ago

    Brilliantly done. I am laughing so hard, particulalry at the potential phone debacle. I do that with my lighter. Hillarious! Congratulations on top story!

  • Donna Fox (HKB)2 months ago

    This was such a relatable inner monologue! Even though I don't have kids, I still feel the grind of sitting on a bus/ train and thinking about all the things that I'd have to get done after a long day. Get work on the challenge!

  • Hannah Moore2 months ago

    I just did this challenge this afternoon - I wasnt sure if correcting a typo counted as an edit! This did seem familiar, the relief of just sitting - more than just sitting, sitting and not havng to think anything in particular. And even though you want to get home, not wanting to, because then you have to stop sitting and thinking whatever.

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Congrats on the TS.

  • Kendall Defoe 2 months ago

    There is a subway line in Tokyo - the Yamamoto line - that runs as a circle through the city and goes all night. Your piece reminds me of my thoughts - and maybe the thoughts of the people around me - as we rode that ring around and around on certain days when we wanted to avoid other problems. Have you read my piece ''My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose''? You do that internal monologue thing just like I did and I think you got it better on the page. :)

  • Oneg In The Arctic2 months ago

    I love the boob text armpit struggle xD It just humanizes everything. Yeah we're all tired, but also- sometimes we have phones in weird places, or half-wedgies we need to dig out, or we need to clear our throat real bad so we can breathe but then everyone will judge you for existing. We're all so scared to be judged for existing. Anyhow- great job

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Sitting on a long bus ride, thinking of all the things I have to do when I get home is definitely familiar. I think you did a great job on this despite exceeding the word count.

  • Jay Kantor2 months ago

    'j' - All Aboard ~ Hot Bra section next to emergency exits. 'j'

  • J. S. Wade2 months ago

    Brain analysis word scan complete. Computing… Results - Genius! Goodness, this felt authentic Judey. Excellent. 😎

  • JBaz2 months ago

    Wow, serious notes sprinkled with humour. As I read this I couldn’t help but think of my mother, she worked full time had her own business and pretty much ran the house. And we were unaware. Every child should read this. You did succeed with the challenge.

  • Familiar & yes, it rings incredibly true. Great job with this, Judey (even if you did exceed the word limit).

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    That was amazing but I know that so tired feeling!!!♥️♥️💕

  • Kenny Penn2 months ago

    Loved this, Judey! I remember my bus days, it felt just like this. Somehow the days seemed longer, more draining, and I remember hoping to get home without finding messes waiting for me. Everything about this piece is relatable, great work!

  • Alex H Mittelman 2 months ago

    Great work! Interesting thoughts. Hope works ok!

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