DAY ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY – Joanne Limburg

The Bus Riders’ Creed

We believe that passengers, like motorists, are people, who need to move from one place to another;
that if their destination is too far for them to walk, they should have provided safe, efficient means to get them there;
that these means are more efficient shared, and that sharing, as every toddler knows, is good;
that therefore it is no imposition to take yourself to a public stop, and wait with other passengers;
nor is it an infringement of your rights to have to wait for transport while it pauses at other people’s stops;
that everyone who can pay pays the same price for the same distance, and those who can’t pay should be helped to pay;
that those who need help to get on should be helped to get on, and if other passengers can help them, then they should;
that if someone needs your seat more than you do, then you should stand;
that it is permissible, if there is room, for you to place your stuff beside you on another seat, but if that seat is  then required by another passenger, you should
pick up your stuff and let the other person sit, because stuff is neither in nor of itself important;
that the woman with the walking frame moving ever so ever so slowly onto the bus and down the aisle deserves your patience, because you would need it in her
place, and one day, probably, you will;
that all the boys and girls who shout into their phones and at each other deserve your tolerance, because they are young and having their turn;
that small, friendly children deserve a smile back;
that small, wailing children deserve compassion, and so do their parents;
that as long you are on the bus, the other passengers are putting up with you as well, and you should remember that;
that in one life you will be many different passengers;
that they know nothing worth the knowing, who travel only in cars.

 

 

Joanne Limburg has published two collections with Bloodaxe, Femenismo and Paraphernalia. A pamphlet, The Oxygen Man, was published by Five Leaves Press and her collection for children, Bookside Down, by Salt. Her most recent book is the novel, A Want of Kindness. She is an inveterate bus traveller.

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