The van smells like cigarette smoke, mint, garlic, and Windex. It’s mostly good, but a little bit bad, and the combination of the two is making me queazy. It’s maybe too much for my mind to sort out.
“Where you headed?”
“[insert my place of work], please.”
He didn’t ask the address. He didn’t ask for directions. Just “ok.” And the same goes for everyone else in the car. He knows how to get everywhere. And I suppose he should. That’s his job. The People Mover. The Shuttle Driver. Well, ok then.
There’s a map book on the floor, but it’s a bit dusty, so I’m sure it hasn’t been touched in months. This impresses me. I can get anywhere in my hometown, but once I leave those city limits, I’m lost. Instantly. Not The Shuttle Driver. He knows where he is and he can get you where you’re going.
There is a young mother in the back with her daughter. She’s about two and a half and very well behaved. It’s a little distracting. She’s just sitting in her carseat, silently eating. The only noise is the crunch of her snack. I imagine a conversation I’d have with the mom, if I were the type to talk to people outside of my head.
“How do you get her to do that?”
“That. Be quiet. Behave herself. You know. That.”
And that would probably be the end of the conversation. There’s a reason why I don’t talk to people outside of my head.
My stop is the furthest away, but he takes me there first. I’m the only one dressed for work. Everyone else can wait. I have Important Business to attend to. Or so it appears. I sit back, watch the traffic through the window, and daydream.
I don’t remember what I daydream about, but isn’t that the best kind? The dreams that don’t linger. The ones that require no additional thought. I was probably dreaming about lunch or elevensies or maybe second breakfast. Or was I wondering where we were? It doesn’t matter.
I shake my head and recognize where we are. We’re pulling up to my work. It’s too soon. I had mentally prepared myself for being much later than this. I even warned my coworkers not to expect me so soon. But here we are. And I don’t remember how we even got here.
And that’s where it ends. Me at work. Not very late but not quite on time.