I love taking the bus in the city. I have a deeper sense of self and community. I think at one point in my life I would have been almost pained by the thought of taking the bus anywhere. It is viewed as “less than” I suppose. I would never want anyone to see ME at a bus stop. I didn't ever want to wait to go anywhere. A car is a convenience and a status symbol. But is it a better status symbol to destroy the environment and community for the sake of status?
I ride with the shut outs. The forgotten. The lonely. The broken. Call them what you will but I see them everyday and I love them. I don't know why. Everyone that has fallen in and forgotten how to get out. A man tells me he is trapped in a bottle. A liquor bottle. I said something along the lines of “well, if you put enough water in a bottle the object will float out.” He laughed. My face flushes. I would never have had the nerve to talk to anyone before. Not even the bus driver. I didn't want to look like an amateur. Weak. Like a white girl on the bus. But now I love the bus drivers. And I feel they love me. And so does everyone on the bus who we all just need to go somewhere. I walk places and see things and smell the chocolate coffee air of Kansas City. I see the litter. I listen to classical music while I walk. Have you ever done that? It's beautiful. I see the art hidden in alley ways. And I see the homeless and mentally ill wander the streets. But I'm not behind the window of a ten thousand dollar car in the comfort of air conditioning with a slight pang of guilt. I'm next to them. Listening, watching, feeling perhaps what they feel. And I feel different. My eyes have opened. My heart is listening.