Out of all the various public transportation options in the world, I must confess that I hate buses. Give me a train to watch the scenery whiz by me in blurry bursts of beauty. Give me a plane to stare out dreamily at the puffy white clouds. Give me an underground subway with my ears perked up to the surrounding mosaic of conversations and music all around. But, buses, no, not for me. Cramped, Crowded, and Confused. Those are the three adjectives I think of with busses. My only exception is Bus #11. Let me tell you about Bus #11.
Long ago around the time when I was learning to drive, my father told me about Bus #11: “My main form of transportation growing up was Bus #11. Bus #11 is walking as your transportation because the 11 is like your two legs. A very reliable form of transportation where you do not have to catch any transportation or check on any schedule, but just go when you are ready, willing, and able. Get it?”
Yes, I got it. I also got into having to confront my much-loathed buses and much-loved Bus #11 when I met with my adopted grandfather—specifically, Grandpa Mike. Grandpa Mike and I had met at an organ, eye, and tissue donation advocacy event. He had donated his wife’s tissues when she had died suddenly of a heart attack. On a sultry and sticky, hot and humid day in August, Grandpa Mike and I met in the magic and mayhem of New York City. Unlike me, Grandpa Mike LOVED busses! He loved busses so much that he had worked for them and, because he worked for them, he had a lifetime bus pass to get in to one bus after another completely free. He said to me, “You stick with me. I will tell them you are my granddaughter. You won’t have to pay anything.” I chuckled and laughed in response.
For this one day that I would spend with Grandpa Mike, I could tuck away my discord and dislike for busses. By the time I finally found Grandpa Mike sitting patiently waiting for the bus, my tardiness had caused us to miss the latest bus to the Intrepid Air, Space, and Sea Museum. I felt badly for my delay and kept apologizing, but he said to me: “Don’t worry about it. There will be another bus. We will catch the next one. Everything is timing.”