Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Party bus

The bus was a few minutes late and unusually full when I boarded it this morning.

I soon discovered why: our bus had picked up passengers from another vehicle that had broken down, and our driver was determined to get her bus back on schedule. As we barrelled toward the business district, stuffed to the gills with twice the normal number of commuters, all struggling to remain upright or not be catapulted out of our seats, I had to check now and then to make sure Keanu Reeves wasn't at the wheel.

It was a wide ride.

It could have been fraught with fisticuffs as well, but it wasn't. In fact, it was party time. Perfect strangers of every imaginable stripe smiled and shrugged as they elbowed, jostled and hung on to their neighbors or rearranged themselves to let others disembark. A newly boarded passenger paid his fare, startled briefly as he turned to see the scene before him, then squeezed into a crevice and wished everyone on board a blessed day. Even Carmelita, the no-nonsense driver, was chatty. The good-will aboard was palpable.

I'm not so starry-eyed as to believe such conviviality would last indefinitely if we'd been stuffed in the bus any longer than the time it took us to get downtown. But my jolly ride to work this morning did more than give me a great start to the day. It gave me hope that we can, now and then, all just get along.

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