It felt weird. I was strapped in tight. Joe waved at the door. For all the world it seemed like he was sending 'little Davy' off to school on his first day. Yep, I was being carted to work in wheelchair accessible transit. I was on the special bus. Over the years I've had dealings with WheelTrans, and was prepared for anything. But I got a nice driver and a smooth ride.
Years ago I gave a lecture at the University of Victoria in the very lecture hall I'd taken my first psych class from Dr. Pam Duncan. It was a huge hall and I sat up near the back. Now giving the lecture, rather than attending one, I looked up and saw the seat where I always sat. I had a huge realization. The professor could see me. Somehow I thought I was invisble up there, but I wasn't. Wow.
It was the same experience being in the bus. It was like people didn't think I could see them. They could see me, stare at me, react to me, but there wasn't conciousness that I could see them back. Now, tobesure, most people didn't notice either the bus or me sitting in it. But those that did, DID. Some looked faintly annoyed, like I was personally reaching into their pocket and taking out tax dollars. Others stared like they'd never seen a fat guy in a chair before. A few others smiled and waved as if across a border, from their land to mine.
What was really cool was the fact that I rode so high. I now saw what truckers see when they look down into cars. I saw a woman using a laptop while driving. DRIVING. I saw a man shaving, wet shaving, a blade, in a car. Right. But the big thing, well it wasn't actually big, I saw this guy in a very fancy car playing with himself as he drove by. I can now say with some certainty that there really is a reason for some men to buy big cars. What a trip!!
We took an odd route to get to work as we had to pick up another passenger. She turned out to be a very elderly Chinese woman with a very expensiver looking walker. She had her name written in bold letters on the seat of the walker and when she sat down on the bus I could hear the exhaustion of the walk in her chest. But she looked up at me and smiled.
I arrived in plenty of time for work. The driver gave me, as a first time rider, a series of helpful tips for booking rides and for ensuring timeliness. As he was unstrapping me I said, "Did you see the guy in the car ..."
"Today was nothing sir, nothing," he said.
Well, well, well, I'm going to get to know Toronto, raw.