Wharncliffe Road is in London, Ontario. It’s a busy four-lane street with no left turn lanes for a stretch of eight blocks or so. Many years ago, I sold life insurance and was on Wharncliffe every working day. After getting stuck several times behind cars that were turning left, I created a rule: “Stay in the right lane.” It worked pretty well, except for the occasional bus making its stops. Being an upwardly mobile young businessman, I learned how to zip back and forth to avoid all pausing vehicles.
I became a driven (so to speak) salesman, looking for every advantage on the road and elsewhere. No wonder I needed medication for high blood pressure. Go, go, go! Be better. Push.
But is this really a wise way to lead a life? I’d say not. Today I experimented with another choice. I was on Wharncliffe, naturally in the right lane. Up ahead I spied a bus and my hands contracted on the wheel. My index finger lurked over the left turn signal. Somewhere inside, though, there was a quiet “No”, and my digit returned to the wheel. The bus was slowing, with its right turn signal on. I nestled in behind and came to a stop. My lips were pursed, protesting such unusual behaviour. Isn’t faster the way to go? “No” again. I scanned the sidewalk for the number of bus boarders. “No” once more.
Mr. or Miss Bus Driver pulled away from the curb and we were off again … at a sedate pace. There were no cars coming up in the left lane. I could easily have moved over but I chose not to. Slow as it goes. No tailgating either. And then we were coming to a stop again. This time my heart was pure and calm. We’ll get there when we get there.
And so our journey together unrolled until I turned off on Duchess Avenue. Bye, you calm bus. Hello, you calm Bruce. Nice.