I have always been kind of a small town girl. I grew up in the little town of Andover, Vermont, and was very sheltered my whole life, only venturing to Rutland and Burlington for shopping trips and later when I had my own transportation, to check out the immense thrift stores in Concord, New Hampshire.
But a few years ago I started going to school in Rutland, and not wanting to pay for the gas I started to bus it. My friends were all horrified by this new aspect of my life. Riding the bus into and around Vermont did nothing other than putting a bad taste in their mouth. But for me, it was a newfound freedom. It is basically pointless to have a car in Rutland.
We are a very tight city, nothing mind you like New York or Burlington, but tight enough none the less. The first morning I boarded the bus in the wee hours of the morning and rode into the city. Now, my particular route requires three transfers. The first two I have found are pretty uneventful but the third is in the metro tunnel and not only does the bus get very crowded, but it fills up with more than just the usual morning commuters. My friends commented a lot but that’s actually a great way to learn how to deal with negative feedback, I guess.
The first day I was sitting towards the back of the bus and this older man took a seat next to me. We rode in silence for approximately two stops and then he started talking to me about his wife. He just jumped right into the conversation and took me along for the ride whether I was willing or not. I love observing people and their personal ticks so I didn’t mind conversing with this man but I did become a little uncomfortable when I realized he was telling me the story about how his wife died of cancer.
Thinking back on it I realized that the poor guy was probably grieving and wanting some kind of human contact and I was glad I was able to be there for another. These are the bus experiences that I love. The experiences that make my city of Rutland feel a little smaller and more hometown-ish. It didn’t feel bad to ride the bus, and a fine thing was that I got myself a very stylish alternative, a canvas backpack. Just great to carry all my books and other stuff around.
I feel if everyone was able to vent, in a reasonable manner, maybe there wouldn’t be so much hurt and bitterness in this world. My friends recently made a mix CD for my headphones titled “Don’t even think about talking to me” bus mix, but I think I’ll enjoy that on my walk to school. I like my time on the bus to be open. To be honest, I really don’t understand that some time ago I wrote a pretty nasty post why I hated public transportation. Sure, not all is good, but for now, it’s the best way to get around.