Passengers trickle off, then a few more step climb onboard. Then the behemothic vehicles listlessly lumbers along down the street, like large blood cells moving through veins as the heartbeat of the city presses, again, and again.
People walking by, busses stop and go.
40, 1, 5, downtown loop, one hundred and something.
Mine should be here soon, look- four of that number have passed just since I sat down. Another pair of busses. 16 & 35. Neither are mine.
A city Target advert lazily blows in the wind – 55 – as vehicles pass by. After a second, slight breeze pushes the ad to the other side of the street.
Either my bus is late, or I’m standing in the wrong place or a million other possibilities float through my head. I find I am often worried, and rarely for any good cause. Sometimes I need to slow down and just appreciate. But there’s the number bus I’m looking for… On the other side of the road.
A few more busses turn my direction, and I think one of then has to be the one I’m waiting for. None of them are. Then a second later I see it in the distance. It is slowing down fast. I walk towards it, thinking maybe it will stop ahead of the stop. Then it keeps going, and I keep pace. I board and tap the transit card against the reader. It beeps red denial at me. I try again. More red denial. The bus doors close and the bus pulls away as I try the card a third time. Green ding of acceptance.
I identify a seat and move towards it, sitting down.
The city passes as I gaze out the window.
The ‘gulls are out today and the clouds hang low. I think they will burn off. My aunt things it will rain. I am indifferent either way.
I am traveling outside my normal comfort zone… Usually I stick around the downtown area and explore that. Today I want to see some places I have wanted to see for awhile.
I look around the bus. On the back of the seat in front of me is a blue “my name is…” Sticker with some scrawlings on it. Someone had a good time.
The bus traverses the grappling reach of the outskirts of the city. Buildings get shorter and the pulse of the city decreases. While the city is businesses and tourism, this slowly becomes suburban sprawl.
As I gaze out the window, I see a young woman with a suitcase waking to her car and a bicyclist who patiently cycles to his destination. I look over as a bus-riding mapper wakes up just in time for her stop. She pulls out white headphones as she disembarks.
From quiet streets back to a young, well-foot-trafficked area as the bus pulls through Fremont. Fremont is an area that had art on almost every corner, and eccentricity often more frequently.
A young man wearing headphones boards and sits. From five rows back I hear the screech of some electronic sub-genre. The bus is turning, and I know this means I have arrived at my stop. I rise as the bus slows, and yell a “thank you” to the driver as I step off. Now I walk the rest of the way to my destination.