There’s this dream I have. There are different versions but I call it the bus dream.
It’s a city bus. It’s big. It’s cumbersome. So many windows. Everyone can see.
There’s no one on it but me. Watching myself. Driving it.
And I’m required to drive it. It’s my bus. I am responsible. It may appear empty to those who might be looking from the sidewalk (yet no one ever seems to be on the sidewalk anyway). But my bus is not empty. It’s filled with everything I am responsible for, everything I’m trying to manage.
And I’ve been driving this bus for so long.
Which explains why I get distracted and I forget how big the bus is. Truthfully though, I know how big the bus is. I don’t kid myself. This job is important: everything I’m absolutely steering in life is on this bus. I’ve just been driving it for a while. When a person drives something so immense, after so many years even it becomes small. And stupidly, one can forget. Or get complacent.
(Do not think this means I have ever truly grown comfortable driving this ten ton behemoth.)
So I’m driving down this street and I’m half way through some sort of cage before I even notice there is no possible way the bus can fit into this cage. Think of a cage like the construction cages they put below skyscrapers along the sidewalks; they narrow the passage and prevent pedestrians from being hit with a hammer (or other debris) and possibly to hide the new facade. It’s supposed to provide protection but anything could happen to someone who gets trapped in there. By someone. Or something. So the bus I’m driving, it’s plowing through this cage, (could someone be in there?!) and it’s cutting through the sides of the bus and I’m cutting through the cage and that’s when I realize I'm not. Nothing is happening. Nothing. There’s no sound, no scraping of metal on metal, no windows exploding as these objects collide because I’m driving through it like a ghost slipping through a solid wood door.
Finally I’m beyond the cage and it’s like I need to keep going and that’s when I recognize where I am: my old street, 1st Street West, in the town where I grew up. It’s a familiar place but it’s not home. And I’m shaking so badly so I crank that bus right and then I wake up like I’m choking.