There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The serpent in the 65th Street station

The light rail train emerges from behind the river of Highway 50 traffic and glides down the bridge over the Southern Pacific railroad tracks, a snake slithering into view.

The No. 82 bus is pulling to a stop in the bus parking lot across Q Street from the 65th Street light rail station. I'm standing at the side door. It is 8:52 a.m.

I've been here before, surprised at my good fortune. I was such a naive fool. But eventually I learned my lesson.

As I exit the bus I can hear the distant clang of the train's bells, arrogantly announcing its arrival. The braggart.

The serpent is trying to temp me, to make me believe that this unique juncture of an early bus and a late train is somehow more than just the intersection of a coincidence, a winning lottery ticket.

I won't be deceived, I reassure myself. I won't believe that my arrival in the station just as the train slows to a stop is anything more than an accident.

Swallowed in the belly of the serpent, I am ever vigilant to hold back those random, accidental moments of happiness, ever watchful for that possible disappointment.

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