Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Alarm Clock

Every day for the last several days I easily got up, around 4 and began my day. No alarm clock woke me, no bus awaited me, no demands were placed on me, but I got up and enjoyed the quiet of the morning at home. This morning, the morning I was to be back in the office, the alarm woke me up at a little after 5. I struggled to wake, struggled to get showered and shaved and dressed and ready for the bus. The one morning I could have slept in, I couldn't.

I was surprised to get on the bus and find someone else already there. At the time I get on, I'm usually the first pick up. I said good morning to him and he nodded in reply. I could see he was tired and was content to simply share the bus and share the quiet with him.

One of the things I like about taking the bus to work is that I go a different route pretty much every time there are other passengers to be picked up or dropped off. I didn't recognize the part of the city we were in but I knew we must be close to his destination because the bus was making a series of tight turns in a very residential area. I turned to him, "Is this you then?"

"Yes," he said, "I'm near home now."

"You had an early start this morning," I said.

"Yes, I was at the hospital for dialysis overnight," he said, "seven hours."


"You going to work?" he asked, knowing the answer because the driver had already asked me if I was working tomorrow, New Year's Eve day.

"Yes," I said, "I'm always the first one in."

"You are a lucky, lucky man," he said, "A lucky man."

"I suppose I am," I said.

Then the bus pulled up to his home and he got up and as he was leaving he said, "Have a happy New Year, appreciate everything you have and don't be bitter about what you don't. My dad always said that to me on New Year's, I figure it's pretty good advice."

Yes, I suppose I am lucky.

And I should be feeling grateful.

Even when the sound of an alarm makes me feel otherwise.


Princeton Posse said...

I've had 5 days off between Christmas & New Year. Each morning we got up later and later, enjoying sleeping in. Today, alarm went off at 7, off to work I go. Not too exciting when it's minus 21!

Anonymous said...

It feels like a privilege to witness the exchanges on the wheel trans bus. In my head it's a docu film and I love each episode and look forward to the next one.