I used to lose my temper quickly. Now, on the whole, I don’t. I think I even have gotten friendlier because I start to find myself decently able to keep up with small talks. I can also say I am happier, and I’m sure that it has something to do with the change in the environment, not just with work, but also with the ease of things in general, particularly in the commute.
Looking back, maybe I was an angry person because I was always late to work and had to swallow a tremendous pay-cut out of it. It certainly did not validate the toil of towing my limbs from San Mateo to Pasay—crawling from province to city, from one crowded rail to another, completing a portfolio of five uncomfortable vehicles I had to ride before I finally reach my office desk. Then you can imagine that at night, I am a corpse before I even get home.
It’s a funny declaration, but my life changed when I started to carpool. Carpooling has been convenient and interesting. Every car is a varying habitat of its own, and you get to observe people on miraculous moments that you don’t sleep:
~There’s a driver with that absolute playlist to kill for / While the set of this other driver brutally leans on confusing club music with songs from the “Father of Asahd” / There’s that dad whose kid we drop off at school / There’re many who don’t speak a word perhaps so you can sleep / There’s one who taps your knee to wake you because she’s telling a story and you must respond / There’s that guy who says awkward stuff so you decide to strut your ring / There’s one who oddly asks a lot about your sister / There’s the other whose wife chooses the passengers (says my colleague) / There’s that husband who occasionally rants about his mother-in-law / There’s one whose pick-up point is at your office driveway so you miss out on early evening walks that you essentially love / There’s that person who can be quite consistent in cancelling your ride / And there’s a driver whose sister is rude on the few occasions you rode with them.~
It’s impressive how people can be incredibly diverse. The experience is not always pleasant because there are moments you encounter crude people like a surprise raisin in your mouth that you overlooked in the menu. But who am I to complain when this system gets me from point A to point B in one cozy sitting?
I think the best part of carpooling is definitely the evening ride. I feel that I can only start to rest from work once I am in it. It’s my second favourite part of the day because it is the flow that carries me home. I soundly nap in the middle of it all because there’s a semblance of safety when you’re sleeping among familiar strangers. It feels like you are carefully carried in a soft blanket as you are transported home by decent people who wouldn’t touch or rob you while you sleep.
In rare moments that I am awake, I think about my life, or I distract myself with memes because I start to think about my life. For the past 12 months, I am being soft with myself in all aspects. It feels peaceful, yet it is frightening to be too comfortable since it can backfire like a trap—a cul-de-sac when you have no fuel to turn back. I am afraid to get spoiled, but yes, this is what I need. Carpooling is part of my self-fucking-care, and I am never going to queue again and sweat buckets for almost an hour for a UV ride if I have the choice, which I have.
Whose life among our politicians must we offer as blood sacrifice for our absurd transportation to start being reasonable? Paano naging ganito ang Pilipinas?