Last night was my first true experience commuting in a brutal winter. I left my teaching placement at 3:15 and thoroughly enjoyed the snowfall as I walked the few minutes to the bus stop. Ten minutes later I was on the Mississauga city bus, bound for Square One. Perfect, I’ll get to Square One at 4, take a quick browse at Chapters and take the 4:20 GO bus, be home by 5:30 and go out for trivia night at 8!
How naïve I was.
Having arrived at Square One at 4:20, I figured that if the city bus was running late that the GO bus would be just as late. I browsed Chapters anyways, and shuffled over to the bus stop at 4:40. 20/20 hindsight: I could’ve stayed in Chapters all night and still made the bus.
4:55. My toes, though.
5:02 A BUS! Going to McMaster. Dare I? No one else is. I’ll wait.
5:08. The cold just killed my phone.
5:15. Should I take this bus going to the Oakville Carpool Lot and just figure it out from there? But my car isn’t even at the Burlington GO Station…
5:22. I can’t feel my feet.
I’m the type of person to strike up a conversation with random strangers if I know we all have the same thing on our minds. Meeting new people is something that’s very important to me; I never want to miss out on the potential of good conversation.
But I was not in any kind of mood.
5:26. “You look cold!”
Yeah, thanks for noticing.
But everyone’s attention was drawn to the guy who had clearly been here longer than any of us, and looked miserable. He was wearing a sweatshirt and shoes that were extremely non-waterproof, but at least he had gloves on. His name turned out to be Brad.
“Well, I’ve been here since 4:10…”
“Man, I just got here! I guess I can’t complain!”
No, you can’t.
“No, you can’t. I’ve been here since 4:30!”
Girl, you took the words right out of my mouth. Her name turned out to be Mel.
But it’s all thanks to the guy who can’t complain, whose name turned out to be Alex, that we got to talking (nay, complaining). Coincidentally, we all had mutual friends since we all went to high school in Burlington. We collectively decided that the 4:20 bus was just never going to come, so we decided to take the next the next bus going anywhere and figure it out from there. It was the 19 to Oakville GO, leaving Square One at 6:00 and getting us there just in time to catch the delayed train to Burlington at 7:30. Eventually, we made it home.
So, to Brad, who didn’t say much but was quick to correct Alex on that our “meaningless conversation” was certainly not meaningless at all, don’t be embarrassed that your mom came and found you on the platform instead of waiting in her car. That’s what moms are here for.
To Mel, the outspoken marketing student with the most amazing hair EVER, I hope the Wendy’s meal you picked up on the way home was as amazing as I’d imagine it would be. Keep doing you, girl, and thanks again for letting me charge my phone in your laptop.
To Alex, the self-proclaimed introvert (“I mean, I’m a computer tech for god’s sake!”) who took pride in starting the conversation so he could meet new people, the world needs more people like you. You’re on a good path. Oh, and I hope you’re not hurting too much after falling into the snow while running to your Dad’s car.
And to all three of you, I’ll see you on the bus next week. I guess this is the start of something cool, but I’ll definitely never forget the value of meeting you all (and sharing a bag of peanuts with you) last night.