This blog has evolved with me through five years of my career as a bus operator. At first, I was eager to describe something new. As it progressed, the down side reared its ugly head and my first instinct was to describe everything I saw. The seamier side of transit dragged me down into despair many a time, but a stubborn Irish resilience brought me back up again. All I wanted to do was document what it's like to be US. It's become evident that this part of the mission has been accomplished.
The past four weeks have been spent in various states of relaxation and introspection. When you write, creative exhaustion can wreak havoc on the psyche. Mine came crashing down all at once, as I'm sure you noticed. Describing this all fits into the FTDS scheme. Since I'm a "writer who drives a bus for a living," it's imperative that you read what happens on both sides of the yellow line. It seems I just needed to put the writing aside for a few weeks, live in the moment and forget the impulses that have followed me throughout this carnival ride. It was tough. I wanted to write to you so badly I had to force myself to ignore this keyboard. After all, I wrote early and so often this blogger refused to "write just to write." I wanted to have something new to say instead of pounding these keys with repetitive mind bubbles.
When you've driven a bus for five years, you're just leaving rookie status and heading into veteran territory. Of course, to many who have decades of service, I'm still "just a kid." Yet, it's a much different world out there as I roll into the hind end of my first decade. Part of my recent literary psychosis is nothing seems new any more. Very little surprises me. Innovative post ideas have been elusive. Perhaps I was just trying too hard, because as I drove during my hiatus, plenty of gems came to mind. It took a strong dose of humility to quash them. I wanted a new direction, not the boring and predictable.
Sometimes, a rest itself is enough to help the ideas flow again. In two weeks, Deke turns five years old. I've started my second book, a step toward fiction that began 20 years ago and came about last year as I tooled along the Tillikum Bridge one fine summer's day. Now that I've accepted that JUST DRIVE remains a slight blip on the literary radar, new directions are beckoning. Leaving this blog behind isn't gonna happen. It wouldn't be very nice to leave you hanging like when the network cancelled "Northern Exposure" without a finale. FTDS is just too much fun. So you're stuck with me... as long as you keep reading.
So here I come again. Hopefully, I'll regain some of the creativity that spawned "Twitterpated" and other gems. For now, I'll refrain from picking on management (too often) because that dog can't be trained no matter how many times its follies roll over. Our union officers are up for election this year, and I won't pick sides. Sorry, but I was trained on journalism. Those running for office are welcome to tell me their platforms, and maybe I'll interview a few. My choices will remain private and I won't get in the middle of a political firestorm. This ol' dawg tends to like several of those running for office, and making up my own mind is going to be one helluva challenge. The important thing is that this election should be about issues, not personalities. What can you do to help us all? Mudslinging won't get you my vote... positive ambition is preferable.
Hopefully, by this fall, I'm going to have an interesting series of posts dealing with the mechanical side of operations. We're a dysfunctional family, but we need to understand each other better. There are many questions I have for our brothers and sisters who keep our rides humming. With any luck, I'll be able to make it fun and interesting while learning a few things along the way.
OK, so now I'm wandering. Jameson's tends to have that effect on me. Most importantly, I'm back. Thanks for being patient with my self-indulgent wandering as I pondered the future. Now watch out. Deke has some new boots to test management's ludicrous policies, and it's time to do some kickin'. Stay tuned...