Have you ever gripped a pen, having its blackened tip just above an empty page? I have spent eons at that precipice, countless thoughts and ideas being thrown over the edge in uncertainty, feeling each unworthy to be made permanent upon the page. So now I simply reflect that there is little else to write about but this strangeness.
Perhaps it is time for experimentation.
Now I will try to write with no sensory supplement. No music, the muse I most covet in its inspiration. Instead, I am now actively looking inward, to reflect on the worlds constructed in the recesses of my mind.
And so, from a desert a river springs…
The drive from my apartment atop the mesa, through the valley, and up again to the hills to work on the other side took roughly fifteen minutes. Interestingly enough, almost half of that time was spent getting out of my neighborhood. With only one local exit down the slope, it wasn’t uncommon for a traffic jam to occur on a stretch of three blocks.
So you learn to be patient. To turn on the radio for the news, enjoy the sophisticated voices talking about issues you might mention to your co-workers over coffee or lunch. And you slowly inch forward. Another car is let in. The wave and smile always appreciated. The quick light up ahead changing always cursed. You switch the radio station, the small victory of refusing to listen to blaring commercials helping to satisfy the wait.
That morning I was unlucky to behind number 6 line bus. It took the behemoth an extra 3 minutes to slowly makes it way down the hill, an eternity for someone commuting to work.
So I did my best to be patient. I let in the extra driver, the wave of gratitude never shown. I turned to another station to escape the commercials, only to be ambushed by more. So finally I chuckled, feeling vindicated that I was experiencing what so many understood as the symptoms of a normal case of the Mondays.
The suddenly it changed. A moment both simple and familiar, yet utterly extraordinary.
There is an unspoken characteristic of family members, grown over time and habit, to predict the actions of those close to us with uncanny accuracy. In this modern era, it was not uncommon for me to suddenly be aware that I am taking my phone out of my pocket, ready to answer for the family member about to call.
No explanation would properly describe this phenomenon, and I believe most of us simply relish in our inclusion of the supernatural, especially on a Monday morning commute.
What I felt in that moment, stuck behind the number six bus was similar to that. I felt the sudden urge break my concentration of the crowded road to look at my phone. It was as if I had heard a whisper come out of its metal casing. The calling of someone who as far as I could know, was unknown to me. Yet I felt a presence. I was aware of it as if in that moment, in some far off place that I know nothing about, someone was thinking of me.
Against my better judgment and laws of the state, I picked up my phone. I searched through the digital list of contact for a name I knew with certainty wasn’t there, for I did not even have the knowledge to know what that name might be. All I knew with certainty was that I heard the calling of someone. Someone that I believed perhaps in another time and in another place, would be someone who would check in on Monday morning. To see if I had made it work safely, gotten coffee yet, or simply say I love you.
I had encountered a moment that transcended time and space and connected to someone I truly believe someday I will have the great fortune of meeting.
And who knows, maybe in idle conversation they will mention their morning commute and the moment when they passed by a commuter while riding on the number 6 bus into the valley.