Over the past few months, I have wished for the days of quiet introspection and ignorance of those around ourselves. Sitting on a bus used to have attached to it a certain amount of anonymity. The goal, it seemed, was to sit quietly and stare off into the middle distance and wait for your stop. It shouldn't matter whether you were front, back, window or aisle, you could just keep your awareness at a level that would allow you to be aware of the relative distance to your destination without having to engage with the humanity around you. If you were one of those bar or strap hangers, this would go double for you.
Seventy-four year old Serge Fournier learned the hardest possible way when he was pushed off a bus after an argument with a fellow passenger boiled over. Serge died from his injuries a few weeks later. Police arrested a suspect, twenty-five years old, after inspecting video footage taken by security cameras on the bus. He landed face first on the curb outside bus, landing on top of the shopping cart he was carrying. After refusing medical treatment at the scene, Mister Fournier went to the hospital later in the day, where his condition worsened and he eventually passed away from the physical trauma he endured. And it was perhaps the emotional trauma suffered in the incident that had him rushing away instead of allowing him to be examined at the time of the incident.
Video of the shove has been everywhere over the past month, and once assault had turned to homicide, then it become even more important to catch she person who made the shove. Police now have a suspect in custody, and "justice" will no doubt be served.
Civility, it seems, will have to wait.
Public transportation should be a place where one can disappear for a few minutes. Ring the buzzer when you approach the place where you want to be and step back into the world where life will continue as before. That personal space bubble has disintegrated. Not that anyone should shirk their human decency along as they board, but sitting on that bus should allow everyone a chance to collect their thoughts or ignore them. My younger brother, who drives a para-transit bus in addition to his career in the arts, has a phrase that applies: Victory through apathy. Not that we shouldn't all care more about things and one another, but there should be more attention paid to those moments and locales in which doing and saying is unnecessary.
Until life can resume at its regular pace.