What is more predictable, a neutrino or a bus? I’m not sure the word can be applied to either. Maybe approximated is better, because both a neutrino and a bus operate in hazy environs, subspace and the public transport service, where expectation of result usually wins out over precision.

Still, they have a lot in common; once they have been set in motion they become their own entity. No.3 Down Hill; Upper Circle North; Alt Route; Sat Only; Not in Service, and no one would dare question their right to be there in the moment, wherever there is. When you catch sight of them, they’ve either been or are coming. Or, which is more usual, you’ve blinked and just missed them. Again!

A particular route has been planned, carefully, and as it has been printed on paper, in a booklet, it is presumed to be carved in stone, above and beyond the effect of random acts.

It is more comfortable to believe in probabilities, no more than that; given facts are not a safe bet on any day of the week. There are stops along the way; the table gives times for arrival and departure at each of these places, but sometimes it’s not there, the bus, I mean, at the right time. Maybe a neutrino can go AWOL too, who knows? Just because a route has been worked out for the little subatomic particle, doesn’t mean it couldn’t take a detour or two, cut off a corner, arrive before its time. If, as it is claimed, it can pass through anything, unless you’re not on-board for the ride, how can you know what went on along the way?

There is such a difference between writing something down, such as a bus time table, and actually getting out there and putting it into practice. Start early, arrive late. People who regularly take a bus mentally prepare each day for acts of God, hedge their bets, make alternate plans, held in a constant state of readiness in their minds, for unexpected eventualities.

Based upon what is known, how can one be sure, really sure of anything? The rest of the world is pressing in around your travel plans for the day. It will not get out of the way; you can read what you like on the time sheet, pick the right bus to take you where you want to go, but that will not stop random holes being dug in the road, detours thrown up, all sorts of unfortunate accidents, mechanical breakdown. Mental breakdown, someone’s lost it on the bus, call the ambulance! There’s a traffic jam! Where’s the schedule now?

The practice of life is, by nature, very vague, an act of faith; can one draw solid conclusions from acts of faith?


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