Monday, January 8, 2018

A Weird Little Transit Tangent

Self portrait.
It's been a while since I wrote about writing. As this blog has grown, so have my literary bones. It is sometimes difficult to find something engaging to tell you, but if I sit at this keyboard while listening to James Taylor talk about his muse many decades ago, I've found a correlation between songwriting and my humble scratchings.

"Songs sort of find me," a very young 1970s-era James said.

Topics for bloggery tend to do the same. As I drove bus the other day, it suddenly was apparent the initial difficulties of the job were no longer there. I'm of two different minds these days. My conscious state is operating the ride, my subconscious is wandering along another zone. Bringing the two states of consciousness together, a sort of zen occurs. I'm fully in control and in tune with everything in and around the bus, but this soul is in another lane. Running parallel the beast, zipping around the past while the heart beats my present and gifts of the future beckon me outward.

Sound strange? Yeah. There's not a lot about me that isn't so. Still, this career is never boring. I don't need to escape, but it happens. It's very difficult to describe. Meditation is always good for the soul, but perhaps not recommended for someone charged with safely guiding 40,000 pounds along roads crowded with the pathos of four-wheeled egos. Nonetheless, it happens. A combination of meditative trance seems mixed in with some serious concentration upon the blacktop and everything surrounding it. A cellphone dings, lifting me back into the now; it pisses me off.

"Please," I implore the video-watching passenger, "use headphones or keep your phones muted while on the bus. Thank you."

The bus makes predictable noises, like the telltale beckoning of the wall-phone in my 1970s family home. 2018's telephones make every sound in the human eardrum's spectrum of recognition. If I hear something out of the ordinary diesel hum, I think there's something mechanically-funky happening to my ride. Shut that damn thing off, willya? Once the normal hum and buzz reappears, I settle back into drive.

Yeah, me again.
So the writer who drives a bus for a living is once again free to ramble along in auto-pilot. Blog ideas come and go. If they stick, I write them down at the next typically-forever red light. Could be a phrase that comes to mind, or bits and pieces of pax conversation which parallel a common thread within. Thoughts from months before might return, bits that never made it yet nag me to remember once the keyboard is within reach again. The rhythm of a poem comes to mind, maybe a new one is born. I hum favorite tunes and memories of the corresponding past trip past my mind's eye. My vision sees the 10-year-old pedaling his bike into pending disaster, but I slow to a stop and block traffic to allow him his youthful mistake and prevent an early end to his tender life. A switch is thrown and the hum returns me to the comfort zone.

Before I can close the book that has opened while in this state, the next break happens. It's then time to breathe in some nicotine, greet fellow drivers, answer a brick-load of questions just because I'm wearing the blues, man. I have to engage, inform, be official. They expect me to know the schedule of any bus that might (or perhaps not) come through there. For 12 hours a day, I'm not allowed to be incognito. My mind, however, is not for sale. It's the only thing I have, while working, that is mine alone.

Once the wheel is back in my hands, Deke is drifting off into earning a paycheck while simultaneously finding ideas to hopefully entertain you. It's what I like to do. It's where I am now as the history of one transit employee's career enters a new dimension. If I'm lucky, I'm still interesting enough to keep your attention for as long as I keep rolling.

Happy New 2018, folks. We're about to enter our sixth year together in Blogville this coming May. Thanks for rolling along with me. I'd love to meet you in person, but for now Blue remains a figment of your imagination. He writes this, but I drive the bus. Hope you enjoy the ride.

1 comment:

  1. It's always really interesting reading about the things that I don't think anyone else does. The zen state, it's almost relieving in some ways at times. From one operator to the next, thank you for these little blogs.