This year I retired from being a bus driver. I used to wake up at 5:15 am five days a week, collect the kids (two routes, between twenty-five to twenty-eight kids per route) drop ‘em off at school and then repeat the process at the end of the day. For some reason, the afternoon route was always lighter. This year, for the first time, in well over thirty years, I’m sleeping in. And yes, I am able to sleep past seven. Sometimes, I even make it to eight. What I miss most is the feeling of being surrounded by other warm bodies sharing a slice of the day. So I subscribed to the concert series in town. Once a week, I shuffle into the auditorium, settle into my plush red velvet seat and wait. I always arrive plenty early, because the waiting for the lights to dim, and the moment right before the music starts, are my favorite times. I listen for the murmur of conversation, the explosive laugh, the sniffle and cough and I relax. Completely. Invariably, I sit through the music part of the program mostly because I’m paying for it. Sometimes, I visit the library and the waiting room at the train station. But I don’t get that same feeling of the air dense with anticipation.