It was one of those freezing December nights and I found myself exhausted from the Holiday frenzy – clients who waited for the last hysterical minute, and a plethora of obligatory festivities. I was standing at the very same bus stop in Greenwich Village – Broadway and Eighth street – where I had also stood shivering, the very night before. I was stressed, stretched-to-the-max and my blood sugar was dropping rapidly since I had not a second to “chow-down”. Hoping to revive, I was sipping-up juice from a bottle still encased in its brown paper bag. As I huddled in front of Woolworth’s faceless windows, grateful for their sheltering awnings , I wondered why every bus but mine seemed to roll by.
The lack of time for basic self-care was getting to me. Last eve, dinner had been a hastily purchased, reduced-price spinach knish from Healthy Snack. “25% off after 8:30pm!”, grinned the Deli-Man. (Ironic to have a deli in a health food store – I mused…) This eve it was “Cranberry Sun”, listing actual cranberry as the eighth ingredient on the list –1%.
Dashing to the bus stop while intermittently grabing a juicy gulp, I noticed a passerby regarding me as wanton-wino, and a neighbor regarding the bag suspiciously.
“Cranberry juice” I mumbled.
Her eyebrows arched!
I proudly lifted the bottle from bag to reveal its happy healthy label. A few smiled cynically as if to note “Well dear…just whom do you think you are kidding?” After all, the color was wine-red!
I yearned to just go home, curl up under my covers, hug my pillow, de-stress, “chill, veg-out”, but I was en route to see a new Printer, procrastinating until there was no more time, for invitations to my seventeenth Solo Photography Exhibition – which select Mentors had assured me was my “next step”.
And so I was in a rather cranky mood when the M6 finally pulled in – very late.
“Do you go straight down Broadway, below Canal ?”, I inquired warily. Last nite the bus had randomly – without notification – decided to turn ‘round. So much for the consistency of the MTA…
The Bus Driver – a big, black man, smiled reassuringly.
Token-in-slot, I collapsed into the first single seat - the favorite of lone New Yorkers.
Across from me two men were seated together. The first, a tall lanky African-American was holding an over-sized big book titled “The New Bible”. He greeted me with a warming “Good evening!”. The second, a mustached Latino-type, winked at me amusedly.
Then without a mini-second pause, both the men and the Driver broke out singing loudly, a gleeful, foot-stompin’ Gospel tune.
I was the only passenger on the bus. It was my private rockin’ limo.
“Do you all sing together in a choir?”, I naively asked.
“Oh no. We just met!”, was the response.
So there we were. Soon the sounds reverberating throughout the bus “Praising the Lord”, singing of Angels, and “The Good Word” a comin’ had me tapping my feet and humming along. Broadway disappeared in a blur as did my “troubles”…
Miraculously the bus never stopped to pick up other passengers, so I was the sole (soul) grateful recipient the spontaneous, joyous, private concert.
Well I was soon so blissed-out I passed my stop, but when I emerged from that bus I was smiling, filled with an exuberance for life, and ready to once again embrace the world.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!”, I called as I waved goodbye.
Just think if all the buses in New York City were filled with song, what a different place it would be…
“The Miracle Bus”.