My alarm sounds.
My body says, “Two more minutes.” My head says, “Get up or you’ll be late.”
My dad drives me to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I can make my 8 o’clock class on time. But on Mondays and Wednesdays I take the bus. And all four days I ride the bus home.
I live in Carson, California and travel to West LA College takes four buses and 2-1/2 hours.
When I’m broke, I walk after class from campus to the Fox Hills Mall to catch the first of my four eight-wheeled chauffeurs.
If I have money, I take the Culver City Transit at the edge of campus and transfer to the 108 Metro Line at Slauson and Paramount. That’s a 45-minute trip.
Next is the Metro Silver 910 that takes me to the Harbor Gateway Station in Gardena. That’s a 20-minute ride, but usually follows a 25-minute wait.
Sometimes I have to wait an hour for my last bus, the Metro 246 San Pedro-Pt. Fermin. Once the 246 arrives, I’m on that bus for another 30 minutes before I exit at Avalon Boulevard and Carson Street.
Almost home, but I still have a 30-minute walk in front of me.
By the time I arrive home, I feel bad. I’m beat. So tired I don’t help my mom clean or with dinner. That’s not right.
I go to bed. Even if the sun is still out. The next thing I know it’s 9:30 and I’m up doing my homework. I don’t finish until after midnight. Sometimes I call it quits at 2 a.m.
I don’t see my family much anymore even though they often are in the next room. Or they are off at work.
Sometimes stress sneaks up on me and I just sit and cry.
Sometimes I feel alone.
Sometimes I am unable to sleep.
I don’t go out with friends.
No parties. No social life.
I ride bus after bus after bus to and from school.
I study and write papers, hoping my education will help me get somewhere in life.
I won’t quit.
Quitting is easy. Staying the course is sometimes hard.
But I won’t be broken.
For now I feel as if my life is all about riding buses.
Yet I feel that all those rides are one day going to deliver me to a better place.
Written by Pops The Club
About POPS The Club
POPS is a high school club that welcomes all those whose lives have been touched by prison. We offer a space where members are encouraged to write, talk and paint their truths. At POPS we thrive on seeing the world as it is while imagining it as it could be. We are creating hope by tackling shame and fear. We are building a community based on dignity and openness.
Originally Published on The Good Men Project