Route: 1A/B Kipps/Thompson
Starting Point: Colborne & Pall Mall (Northbound)
Song: Little Birds by Be Good Tanyas
We got our first woman bus driver! Woohoo! Gender equality. I’m not in my usual spot and I’m adjusting. There’s not as much arm room in this spot, nor can I put my feet up. Adjust. Every time, beginning these pages feels so weird. It’ll take a second to find my voice, here, with you, on the page. It is a holiday today. Labour Day. A Monday. This route is a quieter route to begin with, and I thought would be even quieter today. I want space to think. Room to think on this bus. Empty seats. I’ve been thinking about what I would write you this time. What ‘something of substance’? What I am understanding is that these pages are a revealing of myself. There is no choice in that matter. I will reveal myself. What to reveal, and how, that is my choice. My choice is to let you see how I think, what I pay attention to. I’ve started reading a new book. A memoir. Diane Keaton. It’s written as a memoir of her mother too. I’ve been thinking lots about memoir, and memory. Is that what I want to write? Is that a way forward in my writing. To look back. To remember. To write my memories. Sometimes I thing I’ve worked so hard to forget. Memory seems a painful thing. Again, I must
remember, I get to choose what to remember. What to write about. These pages are mine and so are my memories. I’m not ready. Even the thought of it scares me. To put my memories down in ink, on paper. Not yet. Not here. Not in this way. Not like that. Not for self-pity. Not to regurgitate. One must think of these things, and rewrite rewrite rewrite. Memory is a funny thing. I would tell my story, my memories, to reclaim. To reclaim my life and my experience. To earn my wisdom. (1:25pm). To know what I know. To belong to myself. To own my story, as Brene Brown would say. I know I have searched for love my entire life. I know I have searched for my worthiness. I know I am done searching for either. I know where to find them. I know they have always been here. Oh, there you are. Why have you been running away from us all this time? I gave up my car, and my bike got stolen – stay put, they say. Stay put and you will find what you are looking for. You don’t get this stuff til you get it. Live it. Have things taken from you. Give up hiding. Be brought to your knees. And then you find yourself sobbing, again, not even really sure why. Only there is a sadness. A sadness needing to escape. If I choose to no longer run away, it is my sadness that needs to flee.
…A moment of pause… This bus is full of all sorts of people right now, from different countries, speaking different languages. Ah, Kipps Lane. So many immigrants and refugees live in this neighbourhood. I love seeing colour. Multicultural colour. Thank you for teaching me to see something other
than myself. Thank you for colouring my world. My cousin lives in this neighbourhood and works with many of the families here. He works with them, and they are each other’s community. Jacob has always been generous of spirit. … and now back to me. Ha. Narcissism. No. That’s not what this is about. Maybe it is. But it’s what I’ve got to do. I keep getting told that too, in not so subtle ways, to ‘focus on you!’ I’m not going to change, to become this magnanimous woman I see in my heart unless I do. It’s time. I’m 39. Enough fucking around. Enough running away. Enough. Come home to me. (As I take the bus to take me away…I’ll run every chance I get, still, apparently). Like a child being told to sit still. I am an adult. I’ll do what I need to do. If I need to look inward and remember my story… I’m going to ride these buses to give me that sense of change and movement I crave. I want to see it, and feel it. The train moving my thoughts and emotions moves much slower. You can’t see it, and it feels weird, a little unnerving, almost like I’m hungry, an comfortableness. The bus route/ride is an analogy. A much faster one. This stop is called regret. And that stop is called doubt. And the stop after that is where fear usually gets on. Maybe he slept in today? Maybe she got frightened too? This route is about relationships. That route covers the tracks of your dreams. The next route, the one you’re afraid to take,
that’s the one that holds the greatest secrets. There’s even a key hidden along the way. (1:54pm). This bus ride is going along swimmingly. I am ready for this day and for what is about to happen to me. Isn’t it funny that I have to prepare myself to accept joy, and good things. I have to work hard to let them come in. My own human nature is what I’m up against. My own years of mind games and vicious thoughts. Be gone! You cowardly fools. You demented vice grips. These pages were always going to take me somewhere, and I knew sharing them with you would take me places I’ve never been. I’m going to switch seats. Be more comfortable. (2:01pm). I got my foot up and feel much more comfortable now. Keeping the body happy and the hand happy are key to sitting still and writing for long stretches of time. I used to ride this bus when I worked at South St. hospital [Victoria Hospital, South St. campus], and I lived on Maitland. A long long time ago. About 15 years ago.
We just passed the yard of my elementary school. This route, like so many others, has memories. Holy Rosary. My elementary school. Roundtree Park. All the kids that used to live in these houses, were my friends. My schoolmates. My classmates. My community. All those kids, all those years ago. (2:18pm). We’re on the final loop of this route. I hope. I may get off this route two or four stops early. I have an
appointment at my studio after this and will save myself some steps if I can. I forgot to change out of my flip flops before I left the house and these shoes ain’t the best to walk in. I’m getting tired. Writing can sometimes tucker me out. I have to let go and let whatever comes come, to keep going, to rejuvenate. …Haha! I just got left alone on the bus. (This bus stops for long periods of time, a lot). The driver walked away to go get a coffee, and closed all the doors – Photo shoot!
I’m ready for this trip to be over. Sorry my friends, but I need motion and this bus has been sitting still for far too long. I’m bored. I want to move. To get moving. To keep moving. I don’t want to sit still any longer. These pages are hard enough. Revealing myself in these pages is hard enough. Keep moving. Feeling stuck is not a healthy feeling right now. I can’t get stuck here. I can’t remain stuck here. I’m in transit. This is the in-between place. This is not somewhere you stay. You MOVE THROUGH this place. It’s the hardest place to get through, but none of us were ever supposed to stay here. Staying the course on this route is testing my patience. Staying the course, on this path I’m on, is even harder. More trying. Requires even more of me. Patience. Patience. Determination. Letting go. Trying again. Courage. Patience. Patience. Even more patience. Writing is my sanctuary. Writing
is my way to comprehend, to regroup, to remember, to keep going forward. 2:43pm. This is my first afternoon trip. Normally I ride the bus at night, or in the evening. It feels good to have things to do today, creative things, beyond this, after this. Maybe I’ll bump into you know who. I wonder what my hair will look like when it turns grey. Will it? Will I get my mother’s hair [still black]. Probably. I’ve gotten every other thing about my appearance from her. The hair, the smile, the voice, the heart. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It may have been my father that taught me how to speak, but it’s my mother’s words coming out of my mouth. I am tired. I need to take the headphones out and give my mind some quiet room to breath. Back to Holy Rosary, again, and Bond St. There are more memories here, too. 2:50pm. This is a very long bus ride. This is the 6th page already. I’m going to get off soon and walk to my studio. Just down the road from the stop. Oh wait. I’m not sure where I’m getting off. I need to pay attention for this bit. Thank you for being here with me. Thank you bus driver. Thank you LTC. Thank you fellow passengers. Thank you movement and motion and even emotion. Thank you for being here too. Much love. Until the next time. May I reveal even better, the way this heart and this woman work. ♥
Ending Point: Wellington & Horton