Friday, December 31, 2010

The Last Bus Ride of 2010

I had to run down to the Apple store this morning (my MacBook Pro is getting wonky), and on the way back I took the M104 up Broadway.

It’s was a sunny morning here in Gotham, and the bus was a lovely way to go, much better than the dank darkness of the underground. Thinking about this being the last day of the first decade of the new millennium led my thoughts to drift philosophical as the bus slowly made it’s way and a part of the stream of humanity got on and got off.

I’ve run into the idea of “being on the bus” as a metaphor for life in various places. A priest once likened coming to terms with death as simply that you reach your stop, and you get off the bus of life. This was echoed in a Fraiser episode, of all things. In the episode “The Dog That Rocks the Cradle,” Fraiser and Niles want Martin to plan his funeral. He says no, “You don’t pull the chord on the bus until you’re ready to get off.” Hmm. Did the writers hear that same sermon?

The tv series House also used the bus as the transition from here to hereafter. It was in “Wilson’s Heart,” when Amber pieces together how she came to be terminal in the hospital, she says, “I shouldn’t have gotten on the bus.” This is literal, because the bus was in an accident, but it had the overtone of a more philosophical idea of what you can and can’t control in your life as you travel along.

There was something else on the bus that triggered the end-of-year reverie: a woman was eating Good and Plenty. I haven’t even seen a box of G&P in years. And my mind searched for the old commercial song (which must have been played to the early seventies): Charlies says, Love my Good and Plenty; Charlie says, Really rings the bell.”

From childhood Saturday mornings to being on a bus on the great street, Broadway.

I really don’t know where my bus is headed, or where or when that last stop will be. But the journey is never dull, and you can’t ask for more than that.


Kitty said...

I, too, have a growing appreciation of taking the bus vs. the subway as I get older. There's something about taking the slower, but more scenic route, that I find uplifting and meditative. Besides, there are fewer stairs to contend with!

M.A.Peel said...

Hi Kitty, Happy New Year. Interesting to hear that buses inspire meditative reverie in others.