The 38 Bus Ride

Whenever I have to run errands in the city I take the bus. Although having a car in San Francisco, CA is convenient, it doesn’t help me arrive in the same way in which the bus does.

Let me Explain. 

So when I got to the bus station, I had the choice of getting on the 38 or 38r. The latter being faster with less stops. Yesterday, both buses came at the same time with the 38 (slower bus) being in the front.

Not surprisingly, everyone took the 38r. I wasn’t in a rush. These days I never am so I gladly took the 38. I often think about why people rush because no matter where you run off to, the earth will keep on spinning. If you think about it, we are actually going no where.

Most folks aren’t in a rush because a loved one is on the brink of death or trouble. Shouldn’t these be the only reasons to rush?

I’m usually on time for things, but if I’m late, fuck it! The world will still move on, my appointments will understand and I’ll still be okay.

When I see people rushing, I see anxiety. I see the world riddled with it and don’t think anyone deserves it. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why I write. I don’t like to see people suffering from problems that they can control.  I’m not sure if it helps others, but I do hope so.

Anyways, I digress. So I got into the empty bus and started noticing my neighborhood for the first time again. I choose to see everything I encounter, even if somewhat familiar like it’s brand new. It makes every day exciting and intrinsically blissful.

I saw Darryl during my ride – a middle aged white man, bald head, grey scruffy beard, faded light blue jeans and a blue hooded sweater. He was skinny, but healthy. He was also homeless. I know him by name because while going to Subway one hungry evening, I asked him if he wanted a sandwich. I gave him the sub and we started chatting. We didn’t talk long, and even the times we do talk, he’s always in a rush and today was no different. I sincerely hope that wherever Darryl goes, he gets there.

I saw Russian grocers selling meat, fish, vegetables and other Russian delicacies to their fellow comrades. A taste of home makes us feel like we’ve never left, doesn’t it?

With the exception of a few passengers the 38 was still empty. I got off on Spruce st. to get my computer repaired. The letter G came off.

I noticed that the 38r – the bus with fewer stops and more people was only now in-front of the 38. I looked at the crowded bus. People standing, crunched up against one another in discomfort and disarray.

Sometimes going faster means bombarding ourselves with more problems and keeping the mind cluttered. As humans we will never be complete.
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If you look at life like a race, you will never finish, but if you’re aware of this whole spectacle of creation – the not knowing why we are here – you can truly see life for what it is. It’s important to enjoy the ride.

There is no finish line. You have to enjoy every moment and give them all equal attention and admiration.

Enjoy the good, enjoy the bad, cry your ass off when shit goes sour, and cry again joyously when they get better. All these events are just bus stops. They will change.

Enjoy the ride my dear friends, and whenever possible, opt for the slower ride. The ride that will make you contemplate existence..the ride that will make you smile as the sun shines on your cheek from the heavens.. the ride that makes you see a stranger as a lost sister or brother.

As far as the eyes can see, we will never have another.

Sincerely,

Anand Swamy