The difference between getting on the shuttle (filled with living-on-campus college students) and the bus is stark. On the shuttle, people are fucking selfish as shit, always shoving in front, crowding, stinking (god I hate axe), generally being rotten toddlers. People will literally shove by me when I have been waiting since before the last shuttle arrived. Dealing with 5-foot and 6-foot toddlers is just infuriating. I may start scolding them out loud.
On the bus, people wait kindly based on who arrived first, even if you didn't get in line. There's an awareness and a care for each other. People sometimes greet me, share information like when a bus is late, etc. It's this intense difference between rich and poor, really, because to live on campus here you have to be rich, and people riding the bus for an hour's commute like me are usually doing it at least in part to save money. I'm sure it also has to do with how recently people were released from the prison that is USian high school, where literally everything is a competition.
I've rearranged my schedule now to let me take the bus every day, and as I was walking to the bus stop recently I was reflecting on how much it affects me and had the thought that I feel more whole now. A bizarre thought! But I think it comes from feeling unable to take public transit for most of my life, due partly to stress about deadlines / timetables and partly to strong trigger reactions to being left stranded in a public place, or feeling like I am stranded. I don't know why I have a reaction to that and I may never know, but coming to feel competent at navigating transit feels like the long, long awaited final step in being able to manage the fallout of the childhood abuse I endured.
I also felt looked down on by people for not being able to do it. Like people would think I don't care about the environment, or am a snob, or am a suburbanite. Uncool, apathetic, and elitist. So I feel safer from judgement and I feel a kind of relief because part of me was like "well maybe I am apathetic, maybe I am selfish and lazy." No. I was unskilled and hadn't had a chance to practice in a way where I could overcome my trauma.
I honestly feel reluctance to ever take another route to/from work, even if someone else is driving, because I love being on the bus so much. It gives me dedicated time to write or read LJ, but I can also just close my eyes and meditate. At home I can't just randomly close my eyes and meditate because disentangling from my surroundings is too difficult. On the bus I am disentangled instantly if I turn my phone screen off. I think my fondness for the bus has to do with the length of time I am on the bus, as well, because it is long enough that I don't feel stressed by rapid context changes, but just short enough that I don't get impatient.
And I think there is something magic to me about buses, especially ones that ride on a loop. They make me think of being a cell in the bloodstream of the city; it makes me feel like I belong. It makes me feel like I can tap in to the heartbeat of the city and I feel nourished by it.