It’s early. The sun has yet to rise; its rays are barely a threat on the backside of the mountains. I ride smoothly, gently rocking back and forth. I’m surrounded by lights—on the street, in the windows of small homes, on the tops of buildings, on the cars whizzing by. I’m writing this on my way to work. Only the train conductor’s voice, calling out the next stop in an English accent, interrupts my thoughts.
It’s been six months since I first rode public transportation to work. If I were to drive, it would take 50 minutes. On train and then bus it takes a little over an hour and a half. I know, it seems silly, but it’s really not, not if you understand my hate of monotonous driving, not if you recognize that for me, the extra time riding is productive time, time to imagine, time to do the work I love.
I write. I read. I research. I sit quietly, thinking. There are no car horns to interrupt me, no row of brake lights to frustrate me. Just the comfortable 2nd floor of a flying train. Strangers surround me. Most of them sleep, some nibble at a bagel or sip some coffee, some tap away (way too loud) on their keyboards. Others drift into the pages of their novel and slowly float away.
I pass six stops before reaching mine. When I get off, all good feelings leave me. I have to get on the bus. Trains are smooth, poetic, romantic. Buses are the devil’s chariot—if you go to hell, you’ll probably be taken there on a bus. And somehow, always, a fellow bus traveler, a tiny cute lady, always sits next to me, and she always smells like body odor and Fritos.
Bus. Train. Bus. Train. Home. Only sometimes do I drive.
What’s something you like to do during your commute? Tell me in the comments below!
This is how Claire travels. She uses her super-hero powers to defy fear and gravity. (Hover over the image and click the speaker icon in the top left corner for sound.)