Day 1: Thursday
THE BUS STOP
I am in what might be the most subtly unsettling building I have ever occasioned to sit on a bench in. The Greyhound bus station. Cue gasp. The aforementioned bench is made out of metal, and is sitting in a tiny room. The fluorescent lights flicker overhead. Half the room is these metal benches I’m on, I’m facing the door, so that I can see any serial killer rapist clowns that might enter. Behind me are about 9 (3) vending machines and a water fountain. This building apparently used to have windows, but they are all boarded up. Fortunately the two doors are glass so we are not completely cut off from the outside world. One quarter of the room is used for The Cashier’s area, who sits behind a wall of glass, but only on the side, not in front. (Not sure what the point is) Behind her are rooms filled with suspicious cardboard boxes. (Drugs, or aliens.) There are some warnings posted on the walls that I didn’t read, and getting up to read them would be strange, so I’m not going to do it. You can’t make me. I’m frightened. Overhead you have your usual fluorescents, the walls are brick painted white and the floor is grey. Also there are restrooms. I tried to go in but they were locked, and when I asked, The Cashier told me that the men’s room was out of order and she wouldn’t let me into the ladies room. (But whyyyy?) In the Ayer is playing on the radio too, so that’s fun.
I’m glad The Female is with us, because otherwise it would just be me, Ryan, The Cashier, and the man in the corner loudly typing on his phone. Literally he has turned up the volume to the highest setting and every button press is punctuated by an obnoxious beep. Every time I hear him I get a little crazier. And you don’t want me to get crazier. You won’t like me when I’m crazier. Than…now? Also, he has enough belongings to fill a small apartment. Maybe he’s moving. By bus.
Back to The Cashier. Actually, she was quite nice, I did’t have my verification number yet she allowed me to get my ticket anyway. But she kept sniffing. I’ve seen enough epidemic-disaster movies to know that bus stop cashiers are always the ones carrying deadly pathogens. I made sure to wash my hands immediately afterwards. I tried to discreetly take pictures of the building I’m in, because I feel like I’m in one of those really strange horror movies about college students who are travelling then killed by hillbillies. Or Final Destination. Either one, really.
Still at the bus stop, a guy sat down behind us and started breathing heavily. It went on for easily two eternities. I’m pretty sure he had a heart attack, but he handled it well, just kind of slumping over. Later he got up and bought a soda.
THE FIRST BUS
THERE IS A DOG ON THE BUS
I’m serious. It was hanging around the station and then it just got on the bus. He’s actually quite cute. He’s a stray, but totally friendly. Definitely doesn’t have rabies. That’s not foam on his mouth, just ice cream! The man next to us has McDonald’s, that’s probably what lured him [The Dog] on. He does not want to get off. He had to be shoved. It was so cute when he bit that guy’s hand! Blood is so cool. I haven’t the slightest idea why people would ever fly places, cause this never happens on planes. And this is awesome.
Our bus was also over an hour late, so even though we had a layover in LA it looks more like we are just going to be missing that bus, meaning that we will be arriving at our destination 2 hours later. So, it IS just like flying! The bus is interesting, full of interesting people. There are more passengers on the bus than I expected. Behind me, a man is sleeping. We are at the back of the bus, with the cool kids. No paper airplanes yet, I’m disappointed. I never rode the school bus as a kid, and I was hoping that this ride would allow me to relive those childhood memories. But it’s dark. And people are sleeping.
I really like the guy next to me, he fed the dog some of his burger. He seems nice, and he got on with us. At the time he was being escorted by a police officer. The officer is gone now. This trip is getting more and more interesting by the second. The only way we will make our connection according to Ryan is if a time wormhole opens up and spits us out at the station. I told him that if we are going to imagine wormholes they might as well take us somewhere cool, like our destination, or France. More likely though is that it would drop us off in the deep of space and our blood will boil as our heads explode and our eyes are torn from their sockets and my laptop runs really well until the battery runs out. (Maybe I should invest in a solar powered laptop?) Personally, I haven’t given up hope that we will be able to make our connection without exiting the fabric of space-time, but you know, to each his own.
Around this time I am realizing that the bus itself is not as cool or exciting as the bus stop. Maybe because the lights are off and I can’t see anyone. I wish the dog were still here… Also, I feel even more like I am in a Final Destination movie and am wary of “Dust in the Wind” as well as people screaming about having premonitions and everyone dying. If everyone dies, I will be sure to notice, is what I’m saying.
THE SECOND BUS
Guess who made their bus? That’s right, the main cast of Final Destination 6! After getting some quick food at the central station, we boarded our bus to San Diego. Finally! Whew. I didn’t have much time to check out the station, and this bus is a lot like the last one, except it has free WiFi! Not that I’m going to use it, but its there, for potential website browsing. I’m sure it’s really fast too.
So remember that guy who fed the dog his burger? Well he is sitting right in front of me, and this time he has a friend! Their conversation will likely provide me with entertainment for the entire trip. So far I’ve found out that he got out of prison today, which explains the police officer, and he has been reminiscing about prison with his woman friend on the bus. They seem like genuinely nice people though, very friendly. And while the woman doesn’t seem to have treated her mind all too well, she seems to be rather insightful. She made one comment that was actually a clever observation, that TVs are getting thinner so that they can fit in the same room as fat Americans. I wanted to laugh, but then they would know that I’m listening and I’m a little afraid of what they would do if they knew I was writing about them. The probably don’t know I’m saying they are perfectly nice, which they are. I’m also making fun of them a little bit, but only because they are loud, and thus they must want their conversation to be public! Did you know everything is made of atoms? I do now! Also apparently it’s the lifers that run prison, and subjugate everyone else. It’s just not fair! I think I will keep listening for highlights, but I do feel kind of bad that their conversation is going to end up on the Internet. (Word capitalizes internet, I don’t think it’s that important, personally.)
What follows is a bunch of uncensored dialogue from the two in front of me. Read at your own risk!
PIECES OF A CONVERSATION TAKEN ENTIRELY OUT OF CONTEXT WITH SLIGHT COMMENTARY
“We are just breaths and you can’t hold that shit forever, you gotta exhale.” I think the Man might have just said that Jesus is the devil, but I’m not sure. That’s when the Woman brought up Wiccan and I wasn’t sure anymore. I just found out parole doesn’t test for TCH. “I’ve seen people throw money away” “I want to buy all the car washes and donate them to the schools so they can raise money for their activities” “I can’t wait to get home to digest my own food with my own saliva” “save your two dollar bill” “Abraham Lincoln never made it to presidency” The Man knows the people on money, I don’t even know that… The Man might be some sort of Christian, but I’m not sure, he’s either a Christian or a Satanist. I will still be listening… He does have a working knowledge of the bible, but he confuses some of the prophets with kings. That’s not that big of deal though. “Those lies are bigger than my nipples” I wonder how big her nipples are… OH DEAR LORD NO. I did not need that visual. Excuse me while I vomit. “I snorted pink bubble bath when I was 12 years old” Most of these quotes are of the Woman, because the Man kinda mumbles because he is missing most of his teeth. So I don’t really get whole phrases. The Woman is shouting, so she is easy to hear. “Every decade I want to move a little closer to Iceland, and settle there when I’m old” “Oh yeah, I know that house. I tried to break into it once. I wanted to go creep!” “I’d rather go to the bar and patronize the continent” “Otherwise put up your rails so we don’t all catch West Nile” “Hell, we are chemicals, we are laboratories” She keeps singing. One time they sang a duet. It was cute. “Wasabi kills the germs so I put it in a puddle of the stuff wok wok wok wok wok wok”
We made it to Ryan’s cousin, Jennifer’s, condo. She is very kindly allowing us to stay there weekend. The Female went to her home, so we won’t see her till Monday. She doesn’t talk much anyway. The biggest news is that the air mattress inflatorinator doesn’t work, so I get to sleep on the ground! I’m so excited to sleep. As is apparent by the fact that I am blogging right now. Well actually I’m typing into a word document because I don’t have internet… Good Night Good People!
Just one man, traveling about the wilderness, by bus.