One Morning in a Bus…

Another morning’s commute. I left home pre-dawn, my eyes still trying to squint their sleepiness away. I drove to the Park & Ride in a haze. Perhaps I sleep-drove? I have no recollection of passing any of the landmarks along the way and yet I had reached the parking lot and was shivering as I waited in line for my 6:15 AM bus. The dark days of winter were definitely here.

I found myself a warm and cozy corner of the bus, adjusted the seat and found the most comfortable physical position for the two hour ride. I tried reading East of Eden until the words of Adam Trask and Sam Hamilton’s conversation about the Bordoni acres’ irrigational prospects started swimming around on the page. I don’t know when the book slipped out of my hands and fell to the floor.

The bus made its way along the same highway in the stop-and-go traffic and then to the bridge that takes us closer to Lincoln tunnel en route New York City (NYC). The bus needs to climb a little on this bridge, over the very slight gradient, and it was, until I came to the realization that the climb was steeper than normal. I felt my back pressing deeper into the seat as it climbed higher and higher while its rusty gears got noisier by the minute. Something was definitely not right. In my mind I started running through all the bridges that lead into NYC – the George Washington Bridge, the Tappan Zee Bridge – I couldn’t recollect either one being a steep climb. The climbing continued as I awaited descent in preparation of getting on to the other side. But I couldn’t feel the descent. Then my eyes flew open and I was stunned at the sight. The clouds were all below me, except for the wispy cirrus ones that seemed awfully close as the bus hurtled into nothingness. To say I was panicking would be an understatement. I turned my head and noticed that there weren’t any other passengers next to me, come to think of it, neither were their seats, nor were the walls of the bus. It was almost as if I had been ejected out of a flying bus! And yet I wasn’t falling. I was just headed out at warp speed, into nothingness, strapped to a bus seat without any restraints!

This felt as real as it gets and then I opened my eyes. I really did this time because I know I saw the driver in the driver’s seat and the passenger next to me and felt reassured about being safe and secure inside a bus that was intact and still on the ground.

I was seated at a window seat and suddenly felt a draught. I glanced toward the window and noticed that it had slid open. I slid it back in place, settled in and closed my eyes again, reassured that all was well and that I wasn’t hurtling into space. But it happened again. No sooner had I closed my eyes that I found myself on a bridge climbing up into eternity. This time I knew it was a dream. I opened my eyes and glanced at the side to see the window open, once again. I closed it shut. I thought these hallucinations were being caused by the flimsy window.

By now we were near my stop. I had to get ready to auto-pilot myself out of the bus. I started searching for my work ID card and my keys and once again glanced at the window next to me. It was sealed tight, like airplane windows usually are. This was an air-conditioned bus. It didn’t have the kind of windows that would slide open and then slide back in place!!

I felt the color drain from my face. Then I looked around, really wide awake now. The passengers were all familiar, the driver was his usual cheery self and was announcing the stop that preceded mine. Things were wearing their normal November morning frigid sheen again. All was well with the world. I picked up my things, got off the bus and started walking to work.

Needless to say, I haven’t been able to think of anything else all day. I rarely remember my dreams and this is the kind of dream I’ve never dreamt before, the kind where you feel you have awakened from your dream, but the ostensible awakening is still part of the dream and you have to wake up a third time in order to feel awake again.

The rest of the day went by in a haze, leaving me thankful about my feet on the ground and my head far away from wispy cirrus clouds but extremely doubtful about my present state of wakefulness.

1 Comment

  1. I found this nagical in every sense right from the way youve put it,"But I couldn’t feel the descent. Then my eyes flew open and I was stunned at the sight. The clouds were all below me, except for the wispy cirrus ones that seemed awfully close as the bus hurtled into nothingness…to the very end….!And i made ananya read it as well :)she loved it


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