The 720: A Community on Wheels


Also a sanctuary of sorts, with the bus driver up there in charge.  

My bus ride to the LA County Museum takes about 35 minutes down Wilshire Blvd.  I enter this place that becomes my community for the duration.  It’s very different than being in my car; “well obviously”, you might retort.  But the differences are worth noting for other reasons than just that it’s my car and I have to drive it and I pay for the gas and I need to concentrate on the road, and then finally find a parking space.  The bus is a world unto itself and from the moment I get to the bus stop, I stop being a singular traveler.  That is really something to ponder.  Out of the familiarity of my car where I control everything except the traffic, I give myself over to the bus. Not being in charge, I am free to observe that which is not traffic!


Suddenly I am thickly among the citizens of Santa Monica, Los Angeles and probably other places as well.  As I settle in I look around the entire bus at all the people and what they are carrying, what they are doing and where they are looking.  Yesterday, I sat in the back and noticed an entire seat filled up with packages, no person.  This #720 is one of those double length buses where some seats are high.  What a view!  Many people are talking with each other, many on cell phones, some looking out for a particular rider, many lost in thought.  My mother always told me that I was an observer, so here I was, observing.  I guess that’s what I do, and then draw.


The first thing I noticed when I rode the bus back from the museum that first time, was that most of the people were asleep. Somehow I didn’t expect that, I didn’t even expect to see that many people as it was only around 3:00.  I wondered if they had started their work day in the early morning and so were going home, or maybe they were traveling to another job.  Or maybe they were looking for a job.  One particular woman was smiling, maybe because she was wearing a Century Security polo shirt.  I think she felt proud and secure. 

In general the people on the bus are tolerant, patient, mostly, and kind.  Especially the driver.  He or she has to be a bit of a traffic controller as people board.  Like the park, the people seem to feel safe and protected; and in turn they automatically abide by unspoken rules of fairness and respect for each other in the sometimes tight quarters. Fairness is an important quality to me, and I always notice it.


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published this page in Blog 2012-03-21 20:20:14 -0700