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.