Frank had a bad night. His day wasn't starting off all that well. He missed his bus. After that, options narrowed steadily.
The bus pulled over to the curb and a little island of umbrellas pointed shut in unison, exposing six harried souls who filed up and in, tilled their tokens and searched for seats. Rain had been falling every day for more than a week. The whole town was a mass of soggy shoes, sullen spirits and short tempers. Most of the riders were regulars, on their way to jobs where they were overpaid and underinspired. The bus was the only place they were ever likely to meet, a sort of ad hoc confessional where they could tell one another things they would never say to anyone at either end of their ride.