Schmaltzy Spanish Separatists.

Eight thirty is the scheduled time for my school bus to arrive. There is an affable man operating it, and a not-quite-as-affable-but-still-cordial young lady helping the smaller kids on and into child seats. Everything is completed as if in record time, children buckled in and doors closing with a neat little swish shwoo, the cooing of a robot.

The parents assemble in funeral rows on the street below the windows of the bus, waving hankies, blowing their noses, telling their neighbor how their two-year-old has grown up so fast.

Some of them jump over the curb to bang on the glass, hollering with the urgency of a Hollywood hero about to get his head chopped off by a SWAT helicopter if he doesn’t just tell his toddler to avoid small chew toys or to not eat rice because it gives her gas or to not do drugs (wait, maybe he’s getting ahead of himself?) or maybe something like: HONEY LISTEN THE ROTATION OF THE EARTH DEPENDS ON – gurgle (cue decapitation noises). There’s so much arm flailing and unintelligible sign language it’s hard to tell to whom each limb belongs to, and to which child each weepy parent corresponds to.

I keep expecting the bus to grow rudders and masts and sailors uniforms. Here we come, Atlantic Ocean! All expenses paid by our lovely parents to be rid of us for a few months, so they can karaoke Saturday nights and splatter absinthe onto hotel suite walls and buy several multi-colored guitars for the nu metal band they’ve always wanted.

This theory seems plausible, yes. I cannot be the only one expecting someone to break a champagne bottle over the hull of the ship the back of the bus every morning.