Drive Me

8/8/13     1:44pm

I’m on the trolley. Not sure how I got this far. I just saw a really cool house, or cluster of houses, perfectly visible from the Mission San Diego trolley stop. Slanted paradise high on a hill.

I’ve been feeling agitated all morning. I took a few moments to breathe with my eyes closed. I feel more settled, cold. Now there is pain & exhaustion. I can’t track this new pattern yet. I can barely stay awake and remember to eat. I want a nap. The trolley soothes me.

Benefits of Public Tranist

  • Predictable/Plannable
  • Consistent low temperature
  • Social interaction
  • Walking and Stairs
  • Time outside in the sun
  • Soothing motion
  • Very inexpensive
  • Familiar routes
  • Interesting scenery
  • Hear great stories
  • Gives me freedom/independence
  • Keeps my brain active
  • Fills up time – keeps me balanced
  • I can write or listen to music
  • It is safe no matter my mood
  • I am usually on time
  • No parking necessary
  • Get to talk to friends on rides home
  • Meet awesome people like architects and neuroscientists and Billy the Shark Slayer
  • College football fans
  • Children & pets
  • The ability to travel backwards through time
  • The trolley culture – we help our own, RESPECT
  • Hearing other languages
  • Getting to rest, relax
  • Time to think, be
  • Having all my stuff organized and with me
  • Meeting regulars
  • Announcements that tell me where I am
  • Seeing Costco’s sky lights 
  • Watching construction
  • Riding on a caterpillar

Benefits of Driving

  • Faster than public transit (except in traffic)
  • Direct route
  • Available after buses stop
  • Don’t need to ask for rides
  • Can leave whenever I want

I started driving long ago. I’m getting used to but don’t really like it. Lifelong drivers tell me how great it is and expect me to be excited. They also expect me to drive everywhere and give others rides. I don’t see it this way. For me it’s somewhat of a loss. I feel exhausted and isolated, like I’ve done something wrong.

When I was younger I wanted a car. I needed to get away. I do still need one late nights and on weekends. Maybe spellbound 16 passed me. I like sitting. Public transit is a way of life.

(Amtrak passes by)

My daddy worked on a train. The longer Don lives with us, the more I find my thoughts changing, his image creeping in. He’s not bad. I rather like him. I’m just thrown off guard when I think of “my parents,” which I never have before and see him and Mom. When I think “Dad” I see him in my head. But he’s not my dad. My thoughts do deceive me. My mom is happy with his family. I’m happy with me.

I don’t think driving is good for me. It allows me to do 15 things in a day when I can maybe tolerate 3 or 4. I can’t self-regulate, though I’m learning. I can’t imagine the number of things I’d have

(conversation with Gary)

I have goosebumps. Long conversation with a man who just got kicked out of his program for drinking. He is quasi-suicidal, crying over the death of Junior Seau. Such a blessing. Another lady sat down and encouraged him. This is what drives me. This is what public transit is about. Changing lives, meeting humans, just being. A simple transit cop spreading encouragement and hope. (sigh) What a blessing. Being alone in a car doesn’t drive me.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

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