Today I rode the bus to work for the first time in years.
Before the girls arrived, I worked downtown and couldn’t afford the parking. I loved the bus, despite its occasional inconveniences, like being caught seemingly for hours in sweltering heat with windows that didn’t open, aside from the occasional loudmouth bore, aside from the occasional obnoxious drunk–or maybe because of them even more than the quiet, thoughtful people reading or listening to music or just looking out the window.
But when you drive from suburb to outer city with plenty of parking and you need to be back when school’s out or you need to truck kids off to games or appointments or lessons, the extra hour added to each direction of the commute just doesn’t work.
But suddenly they’re young adults, with jobs and driver’s licenses, and I can leave them to their own devices and ride the bus to work. Even with the extra hour each way–especially with the extra hour–even with the noise and the bores and the walking–especially with the walking.
The downtown is full of energy and life, a statuesque young woman carrying a Gap shopping bag and walking at a quick clip down the sidewalk, a woman in a Fair Isle sweater and turtleneck (on a day in the upper 70s), her brown hair cut into what used to be called a pageboy style, looking wearily into the distance, a man who reminds me of the legendary Father Bliven, a couple of decades younger, reading a book that looks from here like a travel guide (appropriate for Fr. Bliven), on a day that’s in the running for Most Beautiful of 2004.
I’ve got to get myself a bus bag before next week, and then it will be GOOD.
Unrelated observation: A sign at the Greek Festival said, “Do not take alcohol off church property.” I also love the Greeks.