Monday, November 02, 2009

The Wheels on the Bus

The wheels on the bus go round and round, and like the wheel of life, their inexorable turning is both circular, and forward-driven. The wheel spins round and round and round on its axel even as the bus and everyone in move into ... well, the bus depot.

I took the bus home tonight. It was raining, and I had a stack of exams. I was giddy with the freedom of it.

The bus and I go way back. When I lived in Toronto, commutes to York took an hour and twenty minutes there, and often two hours back. In Guelph, all the buses seemed to have been built in 1957, and they all gathered , at the same time, in the town square. All of them. Not such a big city, Guelph! Edmonton buses demonstrated the idiosyncracies of winter light in the Northern latitudes: one December day, sitting in the very back row of the bus, a blaze of midday sun through the windshield hit me right in the eyes.

I've never owned a car until we moved to Small City. I was enthralled by driverdom then: we didn't have to drive often or far, but let's just say that if I never have to get a week's worth of groceries home on the bus in the sleet in a hiking backpack? I will be happy. Vroom-vroom forever! Goodbye bus!

But having a car and a kid is something else again. Driving is a lot less about free will and a lot more about monster shopping runs and complicated dropoff / pickup routines from daycare.

And so it is that today I get on the bus--the smelly, crowded, steamy-with-rain bus--and I felt light and free. Believe me, it wasn't very often I felt light and free fighting for a spot on the York Express at Downsview station in -30 weather at 8am. No.

So it's the same old bus. But a whole different bus too, you know? And the wheels go round and round.


ruby rojo said...

I've taken the bus a few times too and also felt that thrill of freedom. Huz and I even took the bus downtown for an anniversary dinner so we could both have a few drinks. It was exhilarating!

slouchy said...

I haven't been on a city bus in so, so long.

Omaha Mama said...

There's a part of that that sounds really lovely. Sitting there with no demands.

Mimi said...

OM: that's *exactly* it; well, that and the fact that the ride is only about 10 minutes and drops me off two short blocks from my house. Much easier to enjoy!

Kyla said...

I've never ridden a city bus before.

Jenifer said...

My bus ride to high school was anywhere from one to two hours on the TTC and when I was at York it was about the same give or take.

At the time I hated it, every minute. It was crowded, smelly and I felt like I could breathe...until there was a boy! And those bus rides just became too short.

Sweet memories Miss Mimi, enjoy the ride.

Debbie said...

I grew up in the country and got a car as soon as I could. The freedom was exhilirating, no longer relying on parents/older brother to take me places.

Now that I've experienced rush hour to and from the suburbs, chauffering children to and from school and daycare and dance class, I love taking the bus when I can. I love having that hour to and from work to read my book and prepare for/forget my day.

I think I'll take the bus tomorrow!

Mamalooper said...

The girl is almost 4 and takes the bus some days to her nursery school. She knows the stops and when to get off. She also loves taking the subway. And you wouldn't believe how many of her little friends have never been on the TTC!


my other car is the TTC

Mimi said...

Mamalooper: *great* signoff. My only car was the TTC for a long time. Munchkin also LOVES the bus, and cheers once she sees it coming, which makes the other very bored commuters almost crack a smile ;-)

Kyla: no, you cannot surpirse me any more with your Texas no-bus craziness.