A bus bench is hardly your typical refuge. To the well-adjusted, they’re a basic necessity, but not quite a full-fledged convenience. They’re unyielding and unforgiving with hard, sharp angles and don’t offer much protection from the elements — wind, rain, snow, blistering sunshine, frigid cold, chatty seatmates. There’s nothing plush or even restful about parking your weary self on thick wooden slats.
Unless you’re me. Then, yes, a bus bench is a miracle cure. There are many, many days when I seek its comfort. Not to catch the bus, mind you, but to sit and swing my feet like a six-year old. That one simple activity is a quick one-way trip to happy.
You see, I found one particular bench that’s been raised an additional eight inches off the ground thanks to tall concrete footings. Those eight lofty inches are all I need to lose contact with reality. I scoot my keister back as far as it will go, tip my toes upward, and let my feet dangle freely. It’s magic. I’m no longer a geezer beset with anxiety; I’m an arrested adolescent whiling away the afternoon. And I haven’t a care in the world. It is bliss.
Until I get up and my feet hit cold, hard ground once again. Pavement is harsh, both to my physical well-being and my mental health. Gravity, too. It operates like an undertow, locking me into an earthbound existence. I hate gravity. It’s a Chinese hoax, you know — like climate change. Fake news. Don’t fall for it.
Ha, get it? Fall for gravity? I’m hilarious.
In all seriousness, however, that bus bench is responsible for roughly 40% of my pondering. It works the same as a thinking cap, as an ‘on’ switch for ruminations. Or maybe it acts more like an antenna, picking up idea signals in the surrounding airwaves. Being located midway between hospital wings I would’ve expected to catch things, such as germs and viruses. But no, I’m the receiver of fun, often interesting, thoughts.
For example, this morning I found myself wondering: do Christian Scientists have medical insurance? I don’t know, but that seems like a pretty shrewd way to hedge a bet. You know, in case …