Ticket To Ride

My first ride on the S bus happened by accident. Literally. An ugly fender bender landed my brand new car in the shop, three days after I paid a fortune for it. I stomped out of the garage, wondering how I would get to work. Just then, a city bus came rumbling by. The destination was right beside my office.  I jumped on.
I was in a terrible mood that day. My beautiful car scratched and dented, a huge repair bill in my immediate future, and now forced to ride the bus. I tried not to notice the other passengers. They were probably all homeless and drunk. Just then someone sat down to my left.
The other passengers all seemed to know him, and switched seats to get closer. “Hey, Doc!” Greetings rang out all over the bus. “Is he a physician?” I asked the person on my right. “Professor,” was the excited answer. “You don’t know him?” I obviously was the only one who didn’t.
When the conversations began, I forgot all about my grievances. We discussed Dante’s Inferno, I remember.  I made a joke about public transportation and hell, but no one laughed. They just looked at me with pity. Before the week was out, I could see why.
I rode the bus twice a day while my car was being restored to expensive newness. Doc was there every day, on his way to and from the University. Greek tragedy, Shakespeare, Beethoven symphonies, Broadway plays, medicinal herbs, vegan cooking – the range of discussions was endlessly fascinating. We listened and learned, becoming more knowledgeable and articulate with every journey.
Finally, my car was ready to drive. I headed out for work that day on top of the world. I finally had my sweet ride back. Then the S bus passed me and someone waved. My car suddenly seemed empty, lonely, and absolutely devoid of interest.  I swerved into an empty space and ran for the bus stop. The driver slowed down to let me board.  “Welcome back,” Doc cried out.  “Now, where were we?”
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Culture Dragon
Culture Dragon(@culture-dragon)
2 years ago

Great story! It reminds me how much I miss being able to ride the bus 🙂

Shreya Dhital
Shreya Dhital(@shreya-dhital)
2 years ago

Such stories remind me how using limited words is no less than a full novel and how an entire story both can and cannot be. Great work!

Heather Chrzanowski
Heather Chrzanowski
2 years ago

I love the phrase, “expensive newness.” Perfect words to express a frivolous excess of unnecessary wealth which seems so vapid and empty in contrast to the friendly and nourishing atmosphere on the S bus. Nice work.

Last edited 2 years ago by Voice-Team
Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi(@katy-bizi)
2 years ago

I really love how the character chooses the fellow bus-riders’ company over the comforts and peace and quiet provided by the car. After getting a taste of fellowship, it’s hard to go back to loneliness and it’s wonderful how the story makes me realize that.

Last edited 2 years ago by Voice-Team
Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
2 years ago

Hi Fuji, isn’t it amazing when you read all the different comments – a story is never just a story is it? You see this when every comment is so different. How often we feel that it is the end of the world when something bad happens; we think life will never be the same. Then when we have to make changes to our life style, we discover a whole new world… Read more »

Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
2 years ago

I loved the ending, Fuji, and the whole story. Isn’t it wonderful how we can make unexpected discoveries purely by ‘accident’? Sometimes things happen for a reason 🙂

musing mind
musing mind(@musing-mind)
2 years ago

Great narration of a bus ride. I remember the time when I used to take bus rides for the same reason as your character experienced. Even if I didn’t know people sitting in the bus, the topics used to be so diverse and interesting that it was hard to keep out of it. Of course the conversation also led to lots of topics for writing.

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
2 years ago

Makes me think – about the empty buses that pass through my town now, at least at the times of day no-one is going to work; about the fact that in my country they would normally be full of old folk, who can ride for free, and now dare not; about the fact I haven’t been on one since February; but about the fact that I always hide in a corner with… Read more »

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

This story is tearful, Fuji. And I learned a lesson. I think about the worsening pollution today that is sometimes caused by the increasing amount of smoke from various types of vehicles on the road. Hopefully, they will imitate your character in your story, Fuji, and they will choose to commute by bus or E-jeep and have many more future friends to meet. It is a very well-crafted and amazing story that… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Lotchie Carmelo

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