Most people have one home, some have two, but in my fourth year here at Saint Peter’s University, I have started to notice that I have three.
My first home is the place where I live and where I send my Amazon packages. My family lives there, I sleep there, and I eat there. My second home is here at Saint Peter’s. I spend more than half of the day time here with friends that have come to be a great system of support. Sometimes I even sleep there, if someone is kind enough to offer their dorm couch for me to sleep on. My third home is not a building or a house, nor is it stationary. It is the Number 10 bus under the New Jersey Transit system that drives up and down John F. Kennedy Boulevard dozens of times everyday.
Over the many years I have taken the bus, I cannot even begin to calculate the number of times of I have taken it, the times I have accidentally fallen asleep on it, or the times I have laughed on it.
The people on the bus have become a weird sort of family to me. There are people that I see regularly on the bus and have come to expect them. There are people that I have only seen a handful of times and never really expect to see again. Some of them are annoying, like the people who shout to their friends across the bus or pointlessly argue with the bus driver. Some of the passengers are kind, like the ones that offer their seat to me. Some of them are entertainment, like the guy shouting the lyrics to Beyoncé’s “XO” at 1:00 am. Some of them are disturbing, like the guy who watched pornography on his laptop. And some of them are even frightening, like the guy who sat next me with an open can of Bud Light in one hand and a pocket knife in the other.
And, yes, they are a very unconventional kind of family, but in many ways they are similar to a traditional family. Just like a real family, there are some people on the bus I like, some people I tolerate, and some people I avoid at all costs. And no matter what happens, we are all on the same bus together, just waiting for each of us to reach our stop.
The bus has been there when I overslept in the morning and ran late for class. It has been there in the afternoons to pick me up after class and at 11:00 pm when I just got out of Argus Eyes rehearsal. It has even been there at 2:00 am when I am drunk and desperately need to get home. I have done homework on the bus, listened to music, caught up with friends, studied, checked emails, laughed, cried, slept, and everything in between on the 30 – 45 minutes it takes me to get either to home or school. And every time, it has accepted me with open doors.
Sometimes the bus is late and sometimes it is crowded. But when I sit in those blue, cushioned seats I cannot help but feel a sense of comfort and familiarity knowing that I am going between my other two homes. It is not perfect, but no home ever is. (Link)