Many years ago, during Succot*, my family shared a Succah booth* with our neighbors. When passions ran a little hot, my dear friend turned to me and said, "I'm going to Tahiti." That sentence became our code for escape, and we'd giggle about it from time to time.
This morning, my bus was 25 minutes late, I watched my train take off without me and on the final leg of my trip to campus, the bus driver forgot how to use the gas pedal. But the tone my day was set at the beginning of my journey.
When I finally got on my first bus this morning, I confronted the driver about being tardy. Complete waste of breath, as there is no accountability for the folks at Metro Rail. They show up when they want, and you just have to take it.
Devoid of options, I took my usual seat near the front. A soft spoken man about my age sitting next to me leaned over and started to explain the route the bus takes to get to me.
I could tell he wasn't what you would call 100%. Then he asked me if I was watching the Olympics. I just melted. No, I said, I wasn't. But I do check Yahoo about a hundred times a day and can read headlines with the best of them. I asked him about what I'd read and he confirmed it all, sharing even more about the events. We continued talking until my stop, some 10 minutes later. All the while, the lady on the seat across from me smiled and nodded.
It was probably one the sweetest, most spontaneous moments I've had all week. It reminded me that before I go to Tahiti, I need to stop and smell the coffee. Be grateful that I'm alive to wait for the bus. Grateful that a fellow bus rider, who probably also waited at his stop, reminded me that simple is best. I never thought I'd say this: Go Metro!
*Major Jewish holiday, part of the High Holy Days held in Tishrei (September) that commenorates G-d's protection of the Jews in the desert after the exodus from Egypt and on the way to Israel. Traditional for Jews to dwell in booths, wooden structures with 3 sides and no roof, which is covered with palm fronds which symbolize the Clouds of Glory.