Dear Drivers of Uptown Manhattan Who Honk as My Son Gets on His School Bus,
First off, I want to thank you for a fantastic performance this morning! The symphony of horns, the yelling, the speeding, all made my son’s commute to school truly memorable. So memorable was your production, we were all moved to tears.
Let’s start with the staging. Parking your cars, even momentarily, at the fire hydrant is a brilliant way to make lowering the wheelchair lift a precision feat on our crowded street. Today’s scene left just enough room for the driver to demonstrate his exacting skills to the amazement of all.
As the bus driver inched up and back to land his exact mark, your quick moves to speed around were inspiring. Even when the stop sign was out, you zipped past, as if laws or common decency did not apply to you. Such bravery and irreverence are hard to muster so early in the day. Bravo!
But let’s not stop at the staging and choreography. The score this morning was superb. There is nothing my son loves more than the cacophonous twelve-car horn salute as the wheelchair lift raises him to the bus where he joins his peers on their way to the daily pursuit of knowledge and skill (and perhaps a little empathy and compassion, but I’ll only use vocabulary that might alienate some of you parenthetically). His eye rolls, the type that only a thirteen-year-old can muster with casual ire, betrayed the depth of emotion we all experience when hearing your opus.
We have titled your daily performance “The Ascension of the King” and we thank you for your raucous reverence to his royalty. As he rises in his wheeled throne, you boisterously beckon the entire neighborhood to their balconies and windows so they too can bear witness to this deeply revealing display of human heroism and honk-loving haste.
While your ensemble grows louder, we hear from the choir.
“The honking won’t make it go faster!” one passerby yells.
“It’s a kid in a wheelchair!” a dog walker cries.
“Shut the fuck up!” we hear from a window.
“Honk if you’re an asshole!” (Even I have a line!)
We trade beeps and barbs until he is safely on the bus, the lift door is closed, the stop sign folds back, he is on his way to school, and you bring your incredible selves, as you are, to the rest of your day.
Kudos to your entire company for the collective faith that this artistic achievement—equal parts emotion and commotion—might somehow restore my son’s ability to walk, and, heaven help us all, lessen your commute by whole minutes!
I would be remiss without adding a special shout-out for today’s command solo performance by NY AHV 9013 (a barely altered stage name I’ll use to protect this performer’s privacy). Thank you for showing us just how nasty the villain can be.
I sincerely hope that you all reached your destinations safely and without regret.
And ahead of tomorrow’s 8 a.m. show, let me say, break a leg!
Sandra Joy Stein