Friday, October 18, 2013

The Wheels on the Bus Still Go 'Round and 'Round

Yesterday I went to the opthalmologist about my glaucoma diagnosis (made by my optometrist), which as it turns out is incorrect- but my eyes were well and truly dilated, as in I looked like an angry cat and couldn't see to drive home.

I ended up bunking in at the Chez, which required getting up a zero-dark-thirty to drive back for work. There was dense fog, and as I batted along the highway out of Smalltownland, I got behind the school buses...at 6:00 a.m. . We abut a county in the Eastern timezone, with which we share a vocational school. While my hometown is in the Central timezone, the school system operates on the schedule of the two systems in the other timezone- ergo, school starts at the buttcrack of dawn.

It was cold this morning, and as I passed ever-Eastward, I saw bundled up schoolchildren waiting at the ends of their respective driveways. Some things have not changed in three decades, since back when I was one of those children waiting for the bus. Ours arrived between 6:15 and 6:30, and you'd better be there before the bus went by or you weren't catching it. Because I didn't have a license until after I graduated  and was not allowed to ride to school with my friends who had their own cars, I was also one of those social pariahs who had to ride the bus all the way through high school. As a band and Academic Team member, I spent my free time on buses as well.

I love my sister, but during my senior year, more than once, she left me standing there in the heat, cold, wet, fog, et cetera, to leap in the car with a male classmate of mine who had the hots for her. He never did get a date with her, because she a) didn't like him past not having to ride the bus, and b) our parents hated his guts and would not have permitted it. The same boy got drunk and rang our doorbell at 3 a.m. the night he and I graduated, spurring Dad to the front door with a loaded pistol. (Maybe it's the fact that God saved him from being Daddy's midnight target practice that inspired him to become a preacher...the world may never know.)

Possibly because I considered it sort of lazy, and was still smarting from the whole concept of buses, I did not ride the campus buses when I was an undergraduate. When the weather was clear or I had plenty of time, I also eschewed the ones from the graduate commuter lot when I was in graduate school. As I passed those children this morning, I hoped that they were warm and that nothing veered into the driveways in that dense, nasty fog.

No, I don't miss the bus. Not at all.

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