November 2000 Archives

The bus

Every day on the bus, morning and evening, someone's cell phone rings, some one or another. Every day someone answers a phone and talks boldly over the growl of the bus, the hum of tires on pavement.

And every day I wonder (almost aloud), "is no place sacred?"

Today I wondered another thing: how can I name a bus ride, of all things, sacred?

But I do call it sacred. Every day I do a thousand things on the bus. I lean, shift, blink, press my lips together, sit, gape, read, smile. I sleep. All things are worship, everything is a voice pointed all directions. Everything speaks.

I am not alone in this tipping toward eternity. The bus is brimming with hidden things, poured full and overflowing with plain people just like me. We are all part of everything, we are timeless.

Halfway between King City and Sherwood the road is not lit. The dark is--on nights like tonight--overwhelming. It pushes on all sides against the bus, pushes us forward toward the light ahead. Pushes us heavily into the road. Inside the bus, a very few passengers gape below bright lights, read dimestore novels, huddle together in seats side by side. I count the few of us lucky. Passengers with cell phones rarely ride this far from the city. They pounce out of the bus in Tigard. At the cinema. Or the plumbing warehouse. Or in King City, before the rest of us plummet into the darkness, leaning closer to our books, to each other, to the cold windows.

It's not that I don't think cell phones (or any technology, for that matter) break this ordinary sacredness. In the end, nothing breaks the sacred movement of the day. I only lose track of it.


Are you confused about the electoral college? This might help.


On the bus this morning, folks behind me were talking about the presidential election. They were mulling over the electoral college and trying to understand how it all works. One woman who was very loose with her strong opinions asked the man behind her how many people there were in the electoral college, and where they came from.

The guy talked around it a bit, but he didn't really get it, so I turned around and said, "one electoral vote for every person in the national congress. Every state automatically gets two votes because every state has two senators. And since representatives are chosen based on population, larger states get more votes."

I turned around, and I heard the woman who asked the question lean close to the girl sitting next to her. "They really only have two senators per state? That's funny."

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2000 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2000 is the previous archive.

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