The walk to the corner for my morning bus Downtown takes me roughly 5 minutes. I put my head down, hunch my shoulders and walk as fast a my little legs will carry me. There are a handful of us every morning walking the same way though our neighbourhood we nod in acknowledgement of each other and continue to hustle our way down the street.
We scuttle to the corner when our bus arrives, shifting our weight from one foot to the other while we wait in line to jam ourselves onto the crowded bus.
Our eyes roll when a fellow passenger isn't 'ready' and holds up the line while they fish for fare in endless bags and bottomless pockets, we impatiently stand waiting our turn to be granted entry, bus fare in hand.
We internally criticize when someone chooses to leave their belongings beside them in an empty seat-valuable real estate during rush hour, yet no one ever confronts the selfish, oversized backpack wielding person, who values their bag's place in this world over the comfort and safety of another person.
We stand together, shoulder to shoulder our boots scraping the floor as we are herded back. The sound of sand and ice beneath our feet is constant. We gaze out windows over other people's heads at the city as it whips by.
The bus slowly empties stop after stop as we enter Downtown, our boots scraping the way to the exits as we weave between other passengers who seem reluctant to aid in our escape. Only a few people bothering to utter 'pardon me' or "excuse me please". We again patiently queue up for the door shifting our weight from foot to foot, dodging backpacks and purses slung over shoulders as we file out onto the street.
Then we hit the sidewalks, heads down, shoulders hunched and scurry to our towers. We rush to enter crowded elevators, rarely making eye contact with other workers all of us shifting our weight from foot to foot as we ascend to offices and hurriedly take off our winter clothes to - sit.
Sit at a desk.
We are separated by beige half walls, we 'prairie dog' over them to see who may be sitting a bank or two over in their 'pen'.
We pound off information mostly a sentence at a time, responding to emails, sharing facts and making requests. We take courses that teach us to shorten our responses and eliminate unnecessary words.
If you're fortunate your phone will ring and there will be another person's voice. But even those interactions are brief. Just the facts-stuff to do...
Then after a full day spewing one liners, fulfilling other people's requests and tapping away at a keyboard we rush back to those same elevators. Heads down we scurry back to bus stops or parking garages, line up to board the bus or train and enter rush hour traffic.
All the while we shift our weight from foot to foot, hands held out for a paycheck every two weeks.
The walk from the corner bus stop to home takes me roughly 3.5 minutes. I put my head down, hunch my shoulders and walk as fast a my little legs will carry me. There are a handful of us every evening walking the same way though our neighbourhood. We nod in acknowledgement of each other and sometimes muster a smile as we hustle our way down the street.
We rush because we are going to where we belong. Home.