What Drives You?

By Anthony Chu

What Drives You?

A thirty-five year old bus tumbles down the tarmac of the Trans-Canada highway, travelling through time at a slippery one-hundred and five kilometres an hour. The bus rounds a bend, and then another, and before you know it the sound of the bus’s six-stroke diesel engine is as rhythmic as the beat of your own pulpy heart. This bus is lethargic and worrisome and bored. It has experienced this route too many times and it can’t take much more of this shit.

The life of a bus is one of revision and complication. Flat tires, sore axels, frame pains, and finally, a slow, creaking, rusting death. Sometimes it is broken up and crushed spiritually and physically in yards of steel, and is then made into other newer, shinier, yet still miserably ancient shells. The lifespan of a bus in North America is approximately 84.7 years for females, and 83.14 years for males. Reproduction is never an issue because there are always newer, sleeker, more physique-worthy auto-mobiles ready for a life of abuse. Nobody ever sees them at birth. Salted, oiled, burned, rebuilt and recycled.

The hopes and dreams of a two-tonne carriage don’t matter to “normal” people. They climb aboard at the most absurd hours of the day, they smoke, they drink, and they vomit on the feet of the bus. They consume drugs and they feed on the energy that this modern day horse-and-carriage provides them. Needles, rubbers, shoes, garbage, sorrow: these are the things people leave on the bus. And these things affect the energy of the bus that these people feed off of.

Treat a bus well and it will treat you in kind. It wishes for companionship that will never arrive, for love that is a distant façade over the sand dunes. Treat it badly and it will growl and snarl like a wolf trapped between the hunter and the nest. Its conductor will treat you like the garbage that you are and will ultimately fire you out of the doors at a speed faster than it can possibly travel. It will break down, it will cry. And it will destroy. Sit still, be calm, complacent, cool, and you and the bus will get along swimmingly. It will shower you with quiet compliments, ask you about your hair and your family and your hopes for a cleaner future.

It will ask you trivial things and important things, about yourself, about your spouse. It will treat you like a shy accomplice as it transports you thousands of kilometres through the snaking tunnels of asphalt that were built for your grandparents Prime Ministers. Admirable in action, accommodating in stature. There is no music playing on the bus’s burnt out speakers. Bring your own. The television hasn’t worked since the Soviet Bloc.

Foreign and familiar. What more do you want?

Andrew Haskett

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