A commute

Among the things you hope to never hear your bus driver say:

“I don’t have control of the bus; brace yourselves.”

This statement may follow the lights going out, the sound of a brake pedal pumping futilely, and the driver phoning operations and explaining that the bus lost power, her voice not quite succeeding at eliminating all traces of panic.

This statement may also come as the bus has just finished rolling off a bridge and is heading straight toward a power pole.

This statement may be alleviated by the fact that the bus was only going 35-40 mph when the power gave its last-ditch effort to join the rapture that didn’t happen, and the subsequent fact that speed has only continued to decrease and at that point in time was perhaps 5-10 mph.

This statement may have been the first time you realized that no power on the bus meant no steering.

You stopped being frustrated at the fact that you wouldn’t be getting to work before 8 for the second time in two days, and started thinking about how you might be in a bus crash and how you hoped the driver wouldn’t be hurt if the front of the bus did give a too-friendly hello to the wooden post.

You had likely never appreciated a curb and the physics that enabled it to act like a bumper instead of a speed bump.

And you thought how providential that the bus would finally stop just past another bus stop where the subsequent local bus would just happen to come by a few minutes later. You may have had to stand on a bus as crowded as the one post-“snowstorm” in November, but not as crowded as the converted school bus in Panama. But you made it to work and no one was hurt.

You already had a pretty decent grasp of your own mortality, and so the event is unlikely to give you an overabundance of pause or reason to re-evaluate your life (especially if you’re in the business of constant evaluation). But eventually, after you’ve recounted the story a couple times and finally gotten around to blogging it, you think maybe you should revisit the topic of the blog’s purpose and see what you can do about picking a story to tell each day (most less eventful than the near near-death bus experience of the morning). It would keep you writing. But you’ve never been very good about sticking with any sort of limitation to the blog.

Or maybe you drove to work today.


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