There are some love stories that are simply iconic. Romeo and Juliet… and others, I’m sure. Can you tell I don’t spend a ton of time with romance?
But that’s all changed now. Two years ago, I had a job that required me to travel from the Twin Cities to Eau Claire, Wisconsin once a week. The two hour commute was, surprisingly not the worst part of that job, though toward the end I found myself dreading it more and more.
The best part of my commute was the journey back home, when I’d trade woods and snowy fields for the Minneapolis skyline and mind-numbing rush hour traffic. How is this the best you ask? Because as soon as I got off Exit 237 and turned onto Hennepin Avenue, I only had to drive half a mile until I saw it.
The 2C. A bus unlike any other. What’s special about this bus is not in how it looked or in how fast it could go. What’s special about it, was its unwavering commitment to me. Every single Thursday evening when I came home from Eau Claire, it would be parked outside of The Lowery. Waiting for me.
Now, you’re probably thinking: this bus was just picking people up, E. It wasn’t just sitting there waiting for you.
NO. It wasn’t just picking people up. The bus was literally parked there. It would be there when I arrived, and it would still be sitting there as I watched it shrink in my rear view mirror… and it would remain there, waiting for me to drive past it the next week, and the week after and the week after that…
In all honesty, it’s probably the healthiest and most stable relationship I’ve ever been in. How does one beat that level of commitment?
In all seriousness, this “relationship” (I don’t know why I feel like I need to put it in quotes…) came at a point when I was struggling. Two and a half years earlier I’d graduated from college, and frankly things weren’t as great as I thought they were going to be. The jobs, the endless job searching to get out of those jobs, the relationships, the multiple moves, the realization of how expensive it was to live in Minneapolis — all of it left me feeling like a shell of the person I was. Was I depressed? Maybe, though rundown and burnt out were probably better words for how I was feeling.
All I knew was that I ached for anything that felt familiar, ached for something to stay constant and consistent in what felt like a time where things were changing with a cruel shake of the dice. The 2C was that constant for me, as I drove back into the city and saw it idling outside of the restaurant. I imagined its driver inside, grabbing a cup of coffee before starting his rounds. All I knew was that the bus sat like a beacon of hope– like it was telling me that stability and consistency were on there way.
Looking back now, two years later, from a much better place, my old problems seem trivial. They were humbling and needed to happen. I can even look back and find the good that I overlooked while in the midst of it (like good freelance gigs and positive people who told me that the bad times were temporary). A great job with great coworkers (which I’ve had for a year and a half now) has allowed me to stop freelancing and stop job searching for the first time in a few years. For the first time since graduating from college I felt that I could sit still and just breathe. It’s one of the reasons I only published four blog posts in 2017. I needed a break, even from the things that made me happy. I needed to just be.
But I’m back now, the brief break giving me time to collect more awkward moments and other ideas to share with the three readers who frequent my blog (oh… there’s only one reader now? Cool… Hi, Mom).
Oh, and about the 2C? We still see each other, though under much better circumstances. Some nights I’ll find myself on Hennepin Avenue on my way to dinner with friends, and I’ll see the 2C parked outside of The Lowery. And when I do see it, my heart swells with relief that my early-twenties storm is over (for now), and it also swells with gratitude.
Not everyone gets to experience an iconic love like the 2C and me.
Look for new words soon, readers. Very soon.