Friday, October 06, 2006

Groom Me

For some reason or another a particular memory came to as I rode the subway into work. It was of me riding the bus with my mother when I was a child. I remember always wanting to look out of the window. I wanted to absorb every ounce of the world around me. I asked my mother questions and she egged me on. She'd quiz me on the order of streets in Bedford Stuyvesant as we rode the B48 on the way to my godmother's house. When we transferred she'd wait for me to walk to the proper bus stop. We waited in the same area each time to connect to the B38. And then one day she told me that I'd have to ride the bus by myself. All those years she'd been preparing me for this step. I thought it was just a game that was meant to amuse me. Instead she'd been testing my competency to ride the bus without her.

She was terrified. But this was a part of letting me grow up. And I was very young, maybe nine and very small for my age. But she trusted me. She walked me to the bus stop and waved goodbye. I got off at the correct stop and stood in our usual spot. I waited and then got on the 38 and smiled at the driver and asked him to remind me when we got to Lewis avenue and gave him my transfer. And I played the street game and rang the bell long before the driver needed to remind me. My godmother waited at the stop for me. She too had been nervous. But she told me that she knew I could do it. And I've been traveling on my own ever since.

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