Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Another route

Off to get the rent into the mail. I was awakened to the fact that April has ended, thinking, it's only the 30th, I have another day to get the rent out. Then I remembered it's April. April fools?

Perforce a different route to work this morning. Stop at the post office. Check in the mail. Mental inventory of what I laughingly call my checking account. Co-pay for physical therapy, co-pay for head shrinker, cell phone, co-pay for PT, internet, c-pay for PT, netflix, co-pay, gas, etc. Nickled and dimed.

The bus pulls up and I am whisked down Mass. Ave. one of the main drags, as the new green of the trees sails by my window. The trees are amazing. Every shade of light green you can imagine as the new leaves start to make their appearance. The magnolias and ornamental plums and pears, already past it. The crabapples and dogwoods coming into their own.

People on the bus are drinking their to-go coffees and reading papers. Crammed together in a city bus they are all separated, as am I. I am watching my fellow commuters. The cute young guy, looking out the window, occasionally stealing a glance at other people. A stealth observer. Others cocooned with their paper and their ipod and their coffee. Soldiering through another commute with as little contact with strangers.

Oddly, there are not annoying cell phone conversations.

I am observant for a switch. I eschew my ipod and the paper tucked in my bag. Looking at the people on the bus, looking out the window at the pedestrians walking to and fro.

The bus pulls in to a stop, just as an urban cycling warrior, armored in his spandex outfit, helmeted and wearing what must be the mandatory wrap around sunglasses of those that think of themselves, or want others to think of them as serious riders all wear. He is weaving through the crowd on the sidewalk, too fast, obviously impatient. Finally, he bumps the bicycle off the walk onto the street and races off, traveling against the traffic. I wonder if he is aware that so far he's broken the law twice, riding on the sidewalk in a commercial district and then riding against traffic. He probably doesn't care. Like most people, autoist, bicyclist, pedestrian, I am sure he feels like the laws are suspended for him.

The half empty bus fills up. People jostle to get on. Seats are snatched up. Crowding on, people seem to do their level best to avoid contact, physical and visual. Don't touch me. Don't even touch my with your eyes.

Outside the spring day continues to whirl past me. The sky is so blue, the trees are chartreuse, pink, soft white and the air is beckoning. "Take the day off. Don't waste me."

The bus heads over the bridge. Sailboats and rowers already out on the water. The rain of the past 3 days has transformed the view along the river. The clear air makes the view look like a postcard.

Next stop, my stop. Off the bus, up the stairs, down the hall. Spring disappears behind me as the doors close. The mild gloom of the corridors sweep away the day, the impulse to run away swells for a minute and fades away. Responsibility shouting over the siren voice of the day.

Key in the office door and work begins.