It is 38 degrees. It is misting. I am smiling.
Well, I am clearly out of my mind. So insanity is a nice excuse.
I am riding a bicycle in nasty weather so I can voluntarily ride a bus. This is stupid by most standards, especially as I consider the nice car in my driveway and it's highly effective heater.
I am insane. Might as well enjoy it.
So I arrive at the bus stop and dismount the bike. And wait.
Thirty-one minutes later, the #91 bus approaches. I can't feel my fingers or toes and my smile is long gone. I am simply cold and wet and a bit confused why I am doing this.
I board the packed bus and stand between a homeless man and a medical worker, both obviously a little bit impinged by my hovering presence. Sorry.
After a few stops, a transfer station, a few more stops, and a few on-loadings and off-loadings of special needs folks who require assistance getting onto the bus (and getting strapped in), we arrive at my stop.
I jump out excitedly (finally!!) and grab my bicycle off the front of the bus. My cold, soaking wet, bicycle.
I plop onto the dripping seat, grab the frigid handlebars and head down the street to the church.
Arriving at my destination is interesting. I feel relief, victory, and defeat all at once. I am relieved to be where I need to be, victorious in my conquering the first day's outward commute, and defeated in recognizing just how poorly it had gone from an efficiency and effectiveness standpoint.
Still, I change clothes in my office and smile at the conversations I was able to have in my 31 rain-soaked minutes at the bus stop. Shared suffering is a great bonding agent. Thankful for those opportunities, I work until it is time to go home. And in an exact carbon copy of the cold, wet morning, I trudge home.
And that was the first day. I finished the day a little older and a little wiser. I finished with sore hamstrings, a hot shower, a few memories, and a new appreciation for shared suffering.
Those people do it every day. I should thank them for sharing sufferings with me.