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That title makes as much sense as the mural, but that’s okay with me. I love the mural. And I miss Cozumel. Especially after shoveling 23 inches of snow. We’re debating the merits of renting a chainsaw or having someone come out to dispose of the tree (I’m getting an estimate tomorrow). I feel virtuously healthy after all the shoveling, and was pleased to discover that I was less out of shape than I thought. Yay – just in time for the next round of snow.

IMG_7052

San Miguel, Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “The restlessness and the longing, like the longing that is in the whistle of a faraway train. Except that the longing isn’t really in the whistle—it is in you.” — Meindert DeJong

Daily gratitudes:
My first robin of spring, which may be nesting in the back
Blue skies
Not hurting myself today
When Kelsea calls
Springtime bathrobes

That’s what the bus felt like this morning.

My commute is a little over an hour, door to door. if I take the bus. It’s a 15-20 minute drive to get my feet in line to board, just under 30 minutes on the bus, and maybe an 8-minute walk to the office from the station. (It’s about 40 minutes doorstep-to-desk to drive to work, but add in $7 for parking and the cost of 40 miles worth of gas, and the stress of traffic going home, and the time becomes less of a factor.)

I’ve never had a commute of more than 20 minutes. At least not to a “real” job. When I was piecing part-time jobs together to make a living, I did, but that was different somehow. I always swore I wouldn’t work in Denver unless there was a train, because I knew I’d hate the commute, so it has taken me a while to make peace with this. And I have made peace with the actual transportation element, just not with the extra time it takes from my day.

I can’t read on the bus, because I get carsick. Once in a great while, I can almost nap, if I am very tired. Oddly enough, I can do some shamanic journeying (adding a whole new meaning to the term “magic bus”). But most of the time, I just zone and think and look out the window and write in my head. I use it as decompression time between the world of work and the world of, well, the world.

Today was a little different. Last night, we had gale force winds, which usually accompany warm temperatures at this time of year. At two in the morning, I was awakened out of a sound sleep by a THUMP out front. It was a big THUMP as you might guess from the capital letters. I lay in bed, wondering what it was, imagining what it might be, listening to the wind howl as it beat up the wind chimes, and realizing that no, I was not in an episode of “Little House on the Prairie” and yes, I was a single homeowner who had to get up and see what the haps was. I dutifully opened the front door, and was almost blown away by freezing, blasting, flying snow. It wasn’t a lot of snow, but it was most certainly a blizzard of snow. Realizing that it was just a little camp table that had blown over on the front porch, I went back to bed to listen to the rage until I fell asleep.

With the snow shovelling citation still looming over my head, I went out and dutifully shovelled half an inch of snow off my walk, and it was off to the bus stop. Ridership increases in proportion to the vileness of the weather, so the bus was already packed when it arrived. My co-worker whom I sometimes encounter during the commute insisted that I take his seat, which was most gentlemanly of him (and I have a whole post about ladies and gentlemen of the bus brewing in my busy little brain, so stay tuned). That I didn’t have to stand was unusual enough, but the bus itself was unusual today. Because of the sheer mass of humanity packed inside, there was no view whatsoever through the windows. They were completely fogged up by the hot exhalations of all these people (which is actually a little disgusting when you think about it too much, so don’t). The lack of view made me feel almost claustrophobic – something I never feel – and kind of anxious – something I wish I never felt. It was like travelling in the belly of a worm, or in something that has been thoroughly licked by a giant tongue of milky slime.

I kept my eyes closed and that seemed to help.

But really, it was just another bus ride, just another morning commute, with a good driver (this time) who didn’t constantly step on his brakes for no reason, and had confidence in his own skills (unlike one of the lady bus drivers whom we occasionally get in the morning).

Image courtesy of http://www.inside-lane.com.

Thank you, RTD, for spitting me back out at Market Street Station, unscathed and unslobbered.

Everyone is always so reserved at the bus stop.
 
Thursday night, for whatever reason, all the eastbound buses into Denver were delayed, so the queue at the Market Street Station was huge, snaking around the metal dividers. It could have filled three buses. Yet everyone just stood there patiently.  Occasionally, someone would make a raspberry-esque sound or heave a sigh.
 
I spurred a few chats with the woman ahead of me – she was wearing spike heels, and I was thinking of how her feet must feel.  I had been wearing my spike-heel, over-the-knee boots a few days earlier and noticed that, after walking for a while, my feet were killing me, and yet my face never gave it away.  So I broached the subject with her and she expressed extreme solidarity with the sentiment. We then speculated on how, seeing as how you have oodles of acupressure points in your feet that effect your entire body, this kind of foot pain might impact so many parts of us of without us being conscious of it, or relating the two. (I guess the moral of the story is don’t wear spike heels. Tell that to today’s fashion designers. And besides, they make you feel kind of sexy. And taller.)
 
When the bus finally arrived, everyone waited their turn and boarded in an orderly fashion, until all the seats were filled. And the bus departed.
 
I recall ex-Pat telling me tales of his trips to China, and among them was his first experience boarding a bus or a train. Everyone was milling around when the train arrived.  And when the doors opened, it became a free-for-all, a scene like something out a small-town downtown after their team has just won the NCAA championship title:  people pushing, shoving, elbowing, toe-stomping.  Little old grannies, using market bags as weapons were the worst, he said.  And once the seats were taken, the cramming continued until the standees were packed in like sardines and the seatees were subjected to up-close views of clothed body parts that no one wants to see, and nose-in physical aromas that no one wants to smell.
And heaven help the people getting off the bus. As he recounted it, I suspect some of them were forced against their will to make the return trip, simply due to the unforgiving press of boarding passengers.

Someday, I will have to experience this for myself. Perhaps in Nepal, or India. Or yes, maybe China on my own, Who knows?

It makes my idea of instigating a 10-second dance party at the morning bus stop (when I am in a good mood) seem rather tame. But I think to my fellow passengers, a 10-second dance party would be unthinkable.

So maybe next week, if I am in an exceptionally good mood, I’ll shake things up a bit.  There’s just no need for such propriety.

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