The Wandering Bus

It’s coming up on Halloween.  The air is finally getting colder, the days are shorter, and a mix of fallen leaves and election flyers start clogging the storm drains.  As we stand on the point of transition into the dark half of the year, a ghost story — or a fairy tale, depending on your point of view —  seems an appropriate way to mark the season.

There is a bus in Philadelphia which SEPTA does not talk about.  It is not listed on the website.  It has neither schedule nor route.  It drives the city in a pattern known only to its driver, and perhaps not even to him.  Its electronic reader board never displays a number, only “SEPTA.”  People who know it call it the Zero, the Random Bus, the Wandering Bus, or just The Bus.  It is not a bus for people who know where they want to go.  It is a bus for departures.

The Bus has a way of showing up when you are at your lowest.  You will hit a certain point, feel a disconcerting crumple in an inner place you thought solid, like a hand crushing an origami box.  Just then you look up to see The Bus a block away.  You always need to run for it, but just a little bit.  Just enough to show you need it.  It will wait.

You can continue reading “The Wandering Bus” on Nicholas Mirra’s blog.

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