Kim drove me to the bus station. She was late and I felt sure that she had forgotten, but I was just nervous. Before we left she put an apple in my hand so I should have something to eat on the ride. Sarah lent me a book so I should have something to read for the ride. I was set. We got to the station just in time for me to secure the last seat on that bus. After I stepped out of the line in front of the ticket counter, the man behind the window yelled, "No more seats for the next bus to Dallas. You'll need to catch the 4:40." Four hours difference. I felt lucky and guilty and as if fate had once again chosen my path for me.
She sat with me for a little while and we reminisced about our trip to Mexico. We missed our bus and had to wait for three hours. We spent the time watching some other backpackers who slept on the floor and used their sleeping bags as pillows. We figured they had traveled long and hard and were at that stage of being such an exhausted mess that sleeping on a bus station floor no longer fazed them. We couldn't wait to be there.
"Do you think you'll sleep with him?"
"I don't know." I thought about it. "I wonder how long until we get into a fight." The one guy, the only person in the world who can make me madder than my mother can, and I'm going to see him- Kim looked anxiously at the Hello Kitty watch I gave her. It made me happy to see it on her wrist. "Well, I guess I better go back and study."
"Okay. Thanks for bringing me here."
"Bring something of his back to the house. He'll be an honorary Sandia resident."
"All right," I smiled. We think the same sometimes.
"I'm going to miss you." I was surprised to hear her say that. Her life is always so rushed that I rarely see more than a passing blur of her. Every now and then she'll stop and talk, but this is a rare treat. Whenever I see her, I fall in love with her again.
"I'll miss you too."
"Okay," I laughed. "Yeah, you go study."
"Bye." Her little skirt danced around her long legs, happy to be so close, and too quickly those legs carried her out into the sunshine, away from the Greyhound world.
Without her there I grew restless in anticipation for the bus. Twenty minutes. I tried to read, but I always get distracted so easily. There's always so much nothing going on that I can't help but watch. Men sat at the seats where you can watch television for a quarter and they slept. One boy shouted to his brother about the treasure he found -- vending machines with hot chocolate and sandwiches. They slid near the machines, diving in the linoleum grey floors. I remembered the Greyhound station at college. It looked like a rundown shack -- gloomy, desolate as all hell. A video game forever beeped and destroyed aliens in the corner. Sodas cost way too much. A poster of missing children hung on the wall. The same poster probably still hangs there, next to a slightly newer version of the same old advertisement for Greyhound. I wondered if any of those children had been found. I wondered if they re still alive and if they are back at home and will they ever be able to forget about the time they were on a poster in a bus station. Each time I looked at the clock, less time passed since the last time I looked. I watched one of those beautiful couples. The kind that look like they were born waiting to meet one another. They probably break up at least twice a week, but they'll be together for the rest of their lives, forever breaking up and getting back together. They were young and grungy and they looked very tired and pure. They reminded me of the sleeping men watching tv.
I decided to go outside to wait so I could pass the time with a cigarette and I'd have no clock to stare at. No clock staring back at me. There was a man in all blue, and once again my mind went back to college. Back to Greyhound. I was sitting on a nearly empty bus. There were only four of us and I was curious about why this man in all blue sat right across from me. Not that he was invading my space or anything, I just wondered about him. He'd glance at me now and then, and I guess I must have too, because otherwise I wouldn't know he was looking, but after awhile I forgot he was there. We had a layover and he stood by me.
"I can't wait to get out of these stupid clothes," he said.
"Why are you wearing them?"
"They just let me out. Ten years of my life they stole from me." I wondered what he did, or what they thought he did, to be in jail for ten years. Anyone who I had known who had been in jail only spent the night there. I wondered why he told me that. I wondered what it would be like to go home after ten years passed.
A bus finally pulled up. It said Chicago and it was filled with people. Those of us waiting to get on the bus looked at one another with furrowed brows, trying to see if anyone knew what was going on. I tried to eavesdrop while the bus officials stood together and discussed things in quiet serious voices. They decided to let three people on. Somehow I managed to be one of them. I climbed up the steps, dreading the inevitable hell of searching for a seat while trying not to knock anyone unconscious with my backpack and the shoes hanging from its straps all the while shoving my pillow and sleeping bag as hard as possible between the too-close rows of seats. And of course, the only seat available was by the toilet between two men. The very last row. Think of all the damage I could do before I got there. Once I did, there was really no space and it reeked of piss and shit, let alone that crowded human odor. I worried that the smell would carry me the entire way to Colorado.
The man by the window slept the entire time. He had a big whitehead ripe for popping just by his eyebrow and a package of cookies on his lap. the man by the toilet seemed very kind and I wondered if he was gay. I couldn't explain why I thought that. He didn't fit any stereotype, but still I guessed he was. Maybe his skin was too pretty. I don't know. Neither of them seemed particularly sociable, so I read and slept. On the first stop I got out to have a smoke. A man in overalls and a cowboy hat stood by me. He broke the filter off the cigarette I gave him and told me about dairy farming in Pennsylvania and how pretty Indiana is south of Indianapolis. He had a big, furry mustache like my friend's father and I liked listening to him talk about America and traveling. And I appreciated that he didn't seem to be trying to pick me up.
Once I met a fireman on a bus. We talked for hours and exchanged addresses to write to each other. He began writing to me more often than my long-distance lover at the time. He sent me bad love poems that rhymed and told me that his friends were calling him Lionheart because he needed to be tamed. I stopped writing.
I watched a man walk on the bus and I immediately wondered if he was gay, too. After a few seconds, I realized he was the man sitting between me and the toilet. I didn't recognize him out of profile. Then I remembered how it had taken me a few seconds to recognize the other guy who sat next to me when he talked to me outside the bus. I realized that I don't see things very well, even with my glasses. I don't look very carefully. We all reloaded onto the bus and the maybe gay man stood up by the toilet, eating a chilidog. The guy with the cookies that I really wanted to eat went back to sleep. I decided to try to read Grapes of Wrath, but it frustrated me because the book is written too beautifully to keep quiet as you read. It's one of those books that was written to be read out loud. Steinbeck creates entire universes that welcome you in and surround you. He makes you forget now, because he creates now. His words sing and dance and breathe and hold your body the whole time. Someday, I dream. For now, I'll ride a bus. We arrived in Dallas. My next bus didn't leave for an hour so I wandered around, looking for a cheap drink of anything, but you know how it is in bus stations. Everything costs ten times more than its already overpriced value, so instead I sat down and watched a little girl dance. The dairyfarmerman strolled over.
"Let's go to McDonald's."
"No, thanks, I don't really feel like it."
"Oh, come on, it's just across the street and you still have an hour to kill."
"No, I really don't feel like it." I don't like killing hours, anyway. I think it's unnecessarily cruel and wasteful.
"All right, I'm not going to force you." Gee, thanks. I continued to watch the beautiful Mexican girl dance by her mother's legs while the dairyfarmerman strolled off to kill his hour at McDonald's. I guess that's as good a place as any for a murder like that. The girl saw me look at her and she played it shy as she danced and leaped a little bit closer to me. She hid her smile with her hands the way shy but not really children do. She started adventuring near me and then she'd laugh and run back to her mother in complete oblivion to the knees in her path. She nearly made many people fall while she happily danced around the floor. I tried to speak Spanish with her but I think my Spanish sounded like a foreign language and she didn't respond at all to my English. She just looked at me curiously and when she got very bold she put one finger on the tattoo on my arm, but her mother called her and off she dashed, crashing into knees and shins in her whirlwind through the station.
"Now boarding at gate one..." boomed barely intelligibly through the station. Then we heard it in Spanish. Unfortunately, instead of actually telling who should board at gate one, the continuation of the announcement went, "Now boarding at gate two..." again, with no indication of who should board there either. At least they were making the announcement in English and in Spanish, so everyone could be confused together in our own language. Everyone looked around and I couldn't help but begin cracking up. Already things were seeming a bit like a surreal Muppet movie and I still had a long ride ahead. "Now boarding at gate five..."
Finally, those of us heading to Amarillo were directed to gate two. The line was very long and they announced lots of stops. I began to dread the ride before it began. When I have a choice, for some reason, I always sit on the left side of the bus somewhere nearing the front of the bus. This time I was sure to avoid the bathroom stink.
The bus was packed and I knew I'd have to share my seat. A young woman wearing all purple came and asked if she could sit with me. She wore purple leggings that, despite their small size, gave her the appearance of an anorexic. Her body looked fragile and her face was drawn. She seemed hidden in her large down purple jacket with white fuzzy trim around the hood, which she left up, even on the bus.
"How old are you?" was the first thing she asked me.
"How old are you?"
"Oh." She looked at me strangely. I kept peeking out of the corner of my eye and I saw that she was still looking at me with her head tilted and her eyes kind of squinted, as if she was trying to figure something out.
"I'm going to Arlington," she told me.
"Oh. Are you going to visit someone?"
"Yes. I stay with my father on the weekends. He lives in Arlington."
"Oh. Um... do you like it there?"
"It's okay. Are you going to Arlington?"
"No, I'm going to Amarillo."
"Why are you going there?"
"Well, I'm going to transfer from there, and eventually go to Colorado. I'm visiting a friend."
"Oh. Have you ever been there?"
"Is he your boyfriend?"
"Is who my boyfriend?"
"The friend you're going to see."
"No, but he sort of once asked about marrying him." She laughed at me. I think my face must have contorted a bit. She laughed after every comment either of us made. A nervous little giggle. I found it contagious and began giving a little nervous giggle at every pause, myself.
"Do you like Stephen Seigal?"
"You know, I'm not sure. I've never really seen any movies he's in."
"Oh." She giggled. "Do you want to see what's in here?" She was holding a long, thin, triangular cardboard package. It was very mysterious and I was dying of curiosity to know what was inside.
"Yes." She slowly lifted one end, prolonging the suspense. She pulled out a rolled up poster. With awkwardness she unrolled it and revealed a larger than life Stephen Seigal. His face was tremendous.
"Isn't he cute?" she giggled.
"Um... yeah, sure." whatever.
"Wouldn't it be funny if he jumped out of the poster right here in front of us?"
"Yeah, that would be pretty trippy."
"What would you do if he did?"
"Yeah, wouldn't you?"
"So you think he's cute?" I asked. I don't know why I asked. It was a given she was crazy about this face that appeared to be larger than her tiny body.
"Yes." Instead of her usual nervous giggle, a roaring laugh erupted from her entire body. It was nice to see something so bold come out of such a petite and fragile shell. We sat silent for awhile while she tried to put Stephen back in her cardboard triangle box. She couldn't get it in very well and each time she tried the edges would rip and crinkle up a bit. Each time they ripped and crinkled she'd curse softly. She wanted to keep it smooth. I tried to help her, but I couldn't do any better. I stared out the window, surprised that night had snuck up on me without me noticing it. I tried to guess the time.
"Hey, look, it's a full moon!" I pointed, all excited.
"I don't like full moons. They make people weird.
"Oh but we are weird. It just gives us an excuse to be ourselves. We have no power against a full moon. I think we should begin to howl." She looked at me like I was crazy, but she giggled as if the thought secretly appealed to her. Suddenly she looked at me very seriously.
"Do you think I'm strange?"
"Oh." She sounded kind of disappointed. I guess some people just want to be normal, whatever the hell that is.
"But I think everyone is strange. I think some people try to hide it, and some people can hide it better than others, but everyone is strange in some way, and so we're all perfectly normal." It made sense to me, anyway. I think she knew what I meant, and she smiled, kind of relieved. "I guess I don't really know what normal is, so I'm probably not the one to ask." I reassured her. We rode on in silence. I watched the moon, and she seemed lost in thought. She began writing her address when the bus arrived in Arlington. I told her one of those promises I always intend to keep, but only occasionally do. "Hey, thanks, I'll write to you." She took her bag, filled with junk food wrappers, and her poster in the triangular box, and stepped off the bus into the night.
I stretched out on both seats and looked at the people around me. Two old women sat up in front and screamed to each other about where their valises were. I couldn't tell for sure that they were both women. One had a remarkably deep and booming voice, but something about the way she bellowed, the self-confidence with which she bellowed, reassured me that she was a woman.
A young couple sat across from me. They couldn't have been more than 15 and they couldn't keep their hands off each other. I watched them kiss, surprised at their passion. When I was 15, I was still afraid of boys and girls weren't even an issue yet. At least they weren't an issue I acknowledged consciously. The two were in the middle of a kiss when the boy opened his eyes and caught me watching. I smiled at him. They had aroused me. He kissed her deeper, looking at me. He sensed my vicarious pleasure at seeing his fingers exploring her neck and back and legs and I think it turned him on, knowing he was being watched getting kicks on Greyhound.
"Are they on top?" screeched one of the women, "Or did we put them down below?"
The girl kissed his neck. I could see the shiny wetness where her tongue danced below his hairline through my closed eyes. I could feel her warm breath tickling across the isle. I opened my eyes, and saw by his movements, that he was hard. I was wet. I took a deep breath and continued watching. She moved her legs so they rested on top of his and slowly, curiously, his hand disappeared into the depths between her thighs.
I turned around to face the windows. Everyone else around me seemed to be sleeping and the bus was dark by now. I ran my fingers up my skirt and felt my own heat, as well as the young couple's fire. My fingers joyously tantalized me, luring honey and juices to flow freely where they chose. I felt glad not to have underwear on; it struck me as more erotic this way. Slowly my fingers entered my pulsing and aching body a warm, welcoming embrace. I couldn't imagine anything more cozy and pleasurable in the world. Nowhere else I'd rather be; certainly nowhere Greyhound could take me. I gritted my teeth and tried to stifle the growl erupting from my toenails and eyebrows and belly button. An eternity of split seconds later my body collapsed into quivers.
I turned to face the man who had been snoring loudly behind me throughout my lovemaking, and I caught the eye of a woman sitting with her daughter on the seats across from him. I wondered if she saw me; if she could tell what I had been up to.
"At least someone on this bus is having a good time," she laughed, nodding her head in the direction of the snoring man. I laid down in one of those contorted bus positions and looked at the moon and stars until I fell asleep.
I had a vivid dream that someone who had died sat with me on the bus. I couldn't stop touching him because I wanted to be sure he was really there. When I woke up, the tears in my eyes slid down my face. Three years have passed since his crash and still some days are so damn hard. Some nights are worse. My dreams are too intimate. I couldn't fall back asleep so I watched the stars. It's strange how you can see stars outside the far window in the reflection of your own window. They bounced up and down and it confused me for awhile.
At 3:15 in the morning we arrived in Amarillo. The night breeze made me shiver, but I was in the mood for another cigarette. The bus station protected itself from people like me by posting "No smoking" signs, so I huddled across the street, feeling banished. A car pulled up behind me and stayed there. It scared me at first until I realized the people inside were just waiting for the bus, too. I watched the other passengers. A bunch of costumed up punk people stood by the door and smoked and bounced up and down to keep warm. My stomach growled at me for food, and I found my feet taking me to the bus cafeteria. The line stood pretty much still for miles, it seemed, and I couldn't imagine I would be able to order before my 4am bus to Denver, but my feet insisted, and took me there anyway. They led me to a glass case that displayed Greyhound items for sale. Little buses, baseball caps, I can't ever remember what else anymore, but I was awed by the sight at the time. Only in America, I thought. It all seemed so pointless. I stood in line and listened to the men behind me talk about more nothing. I stared at the clock, trying to stimulate some interesting conversation, but the clock wouldn't tell me anything but the time, the stingy bastard. I stared at the money in my hand, trying to seduce some brain waves back into thinking mode, but I found the money being trade for a 99 cent grilled cheese sandwich. I ordered it from a cheery older woman who was way to awake for 3:30 in the morning. She slapped the whole thing together before I even comprehended what was going on. She handed it to me in waxed paper that leaked all the grease from the buttered bread. The sandwich tasted perfect, grease and cheese. I sat with some woman who kind of followed me there. She had a sore throat and I worried she'd get me sick, but she didn't. My boss at the job I had just left came to work with pink eye. I felt sure I'd get it, especially once my eyes started itching, but I didn't. Guess my body's resistance is good. So anyway, the sandwich was deliciously my mood, thick, slimy and gooey, and I felt pretty contented to be brain dead and nearly deliriously tired in Amarillo, where they pronounce the I's. I kept thinking it should be pronounced Amariyo, like my high school Spanish teacher taught me, but no one else did, and when I did no one knew what the hell I was trying to say, and we're all just sheep, anyway, whatever costume we hide in, so I pronounced the I's, too. I guess it doesn't make much difference, and now people know what I'm trying to say.
I think it was ten to four when I felt the wet heat between my legs. My period came on but my underwear and pads were still on the bus. I walked up to the guy behind the counter, and in my freakish attempt to charm him, lowered my voice to ask, "Hey, is there any way I can get back on the bus early? There's something I left on my seat that I really need now." He probably thought I was a junkie.
"Well," he looked at the clock on the wall, "the bus will be here momentarily. Can you wait?"
"Um...Yeah. I guess so." I squirmed. "Well, you know, I can't really wait. I've got my period and all my stuff's on the bus."
"The bus is being cleaned right now. It'll be just a minute. It's due to arrive at four."
"Yeah, thanks." He pissed me off. I looked at a man on my bus who I found attractive. He was reading about Mayans and Aztecs. He looked like he could have been Mayan. I wondered if he heard my little dilemma, and I felt slightly embarrassed, but in the back of my mind I thought it was pretty funny. I thought it was pretty funny as the minutes crawled by until I felt the menstruation much too intimately for a bus station. I pictured the blood on my thighs, and tried to prepare myself for the mess, as I've managed to be in similar situations before. I went to the man behind the counter.
"Look, I really need to get on the bus. I can feel the mess I'm making." I know how grossed out men get by menstrual blood; I thought for sure that would work. It didn't. In desperation, I approached a different Greyhound man.
"Hey, I need to get on the bus. I've got my period and all of my shit's on my seat. I've been waiting here for 15 minutes for the bus. It's running late and I'm feeling nasty. Can you help me?"
The man pointed to an approaching bus. "Here it comes." I subtly forced myself to the front of the wall of people waiting to board. The bus pulled up and the man appeared out of nowhere; I assumed he was still loading luggage on the bottom of another bus. He gently touched my arm and spoke quietly with the driver. "This young woman needs to get on the bus immediately." The driver looked at me angrily, as if I were making an arrogant request for a choice seat or something, but I guess the loader told him what was going on as I dove under his arm on to the bus. I got my stuff, climbed through the sea of sheep trying to get on, and trotted through the station, underwear and pad in hand, past the man behind the counter, past the people in punk gear, past a mother and some other random people, into the bathroom.
When I got back to the bus, people were still trying to load on. We were off to a half hour late start. Our bus driver held a futile argument with a drunk who wanted to get on the bus. Finally he closed the door and drove off, saying, for all to hear, "You're not getting on my bus." People laughed and cheered and somehow fell awkwardly asleep. I felt bad for the drunk, kind of. I mean, I wouldn't want him sitting near me, and I wouldn't want him to stink up the bus any more than it already smelled like people, but it seemed kind of lonely to try and get on a bus and it pulls off with everyone laughing at you. That would depress the hell out of me, especially if I was stupid drunk.
By now, each seat was taken, but I wouldn't have been able to sleep anyway. I still felt haunted by my dream. I looked out the window and thought about stories people told me in the station at Amarillo. A few women had been riding all the way from Washington state. They had a 12 hour layover in Montana, they told me, due to snow. Greyhound supplied the passengers with four hotel rooms: one for men, one for women with children, one for women without children, and one for the driver and a stripper woman who happened to be on the bus. Some people slept on the bus. One woman was supposed to get married that day. She was late for her own wedding. One was on her way to say good-bye to her mother. She had a diary with her. I felt a bit envious, only because I was never given the time to get used to death. It just happened. If you're waiting for someone to die I think it would be a relief almost when that person finally does. I don't even know where my lover/friend is buried. Somewhere in Pittsburgh, I think. It just struck me, at that moment, how much life breathes in the Greyhound experience. How everything and nothing happens while we wait for our buses and wait to get to our destination. Time moves differently when you're traveling. And you realize that everyone is going to the same place, anyway, and we're all trying to find that same thing.
I didn't realize that I had fallen asleep until I woke up. The sunrise was beautiful and lusty. I fought my body to stay awake and watch it, but I can't remember now if I did see it and if I did, what it looked like. I just remembered the internal struggle I had, and that I thought the sunrise was created for me. Not long after, we drove past a high school. I looked at all the tough looking boys outside, and thought about how they looked so small. So young to be smoking, and too tender to be so angry already. I wondered if they even know what they re angry about. I guess no one is too young to be angry, and no one is too young to feel a need to rebel, I just feel frustrated that there is a proscribed way to rebel. MTV supplies all the necessary attitudes and information, and the businesses sell it to us through fashion, music, and even image food, among other things. It's Us versus Them and we'll tell you how to be individual and free if you listen and buy into us. The Generation X package deal: follow us to be free, hip, young and beautiful. whatever. And I know my cynicism is very Generation X of me; my anger at how people try so damn hard to capitalize on a stereotype of 15-35 year olds is in complete accordance with the rules of their game. I've been as brainwashed as the worst of them. We'll all end up being greedy business people doing the same to Generation Y.
We arrived at a stop in Pueblo, Colorado. I decided to use the payphone to call my friend in Pennsylvania.
"Is that where all the buildings are made of clay?" she asked me.
"I don't know. I think that must be in Mexico or something." I was still stupid from lack of sleep, and all I could see was McDonald's, Arby's and some hotels. Actually, that was all I ever saw whenever I got off a bus. I began to get suspicious that someone was playing a nasty joke on me. I wasn't really going anywhere. Whenever I got on the bus, they put on some hidden projectors, so the outside looked like it was changing around us, but really we hadn't moved the entire time. I was still in Texas at a stop with McDonald's, Arby's and some hotels. Still, when the bus started roaring, I got off the phone, just in case. I slept the rest of the morning away, until we stopped in Denver. My last bus, and it was a luxurious one. The seats looked comfortable, with more leg room, and there were tv monitors so we could watch a movie. The driver got on the bus and began talking to us. He sounded mad. He told us that this was not a Greyhound bus, but we were on the correct bus. He was going to kidnap us. No, he was going to make one cigarette stop and if we dared to smoke on a stop that wasn't designated as the smoke stop, we should be careful, because if we missed the bus as it pulled out, that will be the most expensive cigarette we ever did buy. I thought he was kind of funny. Greyhound drivers take smoke breaks every few towns. This was the anti-smoker's campaign bus. I thought I was on the wrong one. But we were given more comfort. When the ride began, the monitors screamed, I mean bellowed and reverberated through not only your ears, not only your head, but every cell, every hair follicle, every tiny part of you body you can imagine, and it was "Another Stakeout." The movie was horrible, evil, trying to infuse us with more testosterone and stupidity than the recommended daily allowance. The daily recommended daily allowance was already too high, if you ask me. It was also impossible to ignore. I tried to stare at the moving picture out the window instead. The man sitting next to me began grumbling about how unfair it was that we were being unwillingly subjected to this crap of a movie. He started yelling at the bus driver, who ignored him, or probably just couldn't hear him. When he saw that I wasn't watching it either, he decided to rant to me. I felt kind of bad for him because while it was disgustingly annoying, he seemed to take it personally, part of the conspiracy to keep him dumb. I've decided not to take conspiracies personally anymore. I just shriveled myself up into my brain. After awhile he began to annoy me. I was being unwillingly subjected to his rant, and I don't really like listening to other people's anger when I'm cooped up in a bus for that long. Meanwhile, the bus had stopped moving. We hadn't traveled for more than about 15 minutes before we stopped in this hotel parking lot. After sitting on this obviously not moving bus, being tortured alternately by the movie or the man who hated the movie, and no driver insight, I ventured off the bus to enjoy that dreaded cigarette. I hadn't realized how effectively he had frightened people until I saw them gingerly step down off the bus, and anxiously look around.
"Is this the cigarette break?" they asked each other, nervously.
"I don't know." They seemed so concerned about what to do, I couldn't help but smile. As if the bus driver is going to suddenly appear out of nowhere, leap up onto the bus, close the door and drive off, all the while laughing demonically, before we had the chance to put out our cigarettes. The image made me laugh. The fact that they made me feel as if I'm such a rebel made me laugh. Silly, silly.
After some time, enough to fully enjoy a smoke, the driver returned with two backpackers. They looked very tired and dirty and I knew I'd like them. They seemed to be having some troubles, so after they got situated, I asked them what was going on. I was surprised at the sound of my voice. It seemed like so long since I had last heard it. It turns out they were students on spring break, and instead of following their plan, they ended up traveling with someone in her VW bus. After some time, when they had to be heading back to school, she kind of left them in the middle of nowhere, and they've been missing buses and making wrong connections, with the help of the people at the Greyhound counters, so now they had a 2 day roundabout ride to get back to school. "I could sure go for some pot right around now; it's going to be a long ride," the guy said, trying to spread his long legs awkwardly over the seats.
"Here, have an orange." The woman began taking out a treasure box of sorts. She pulled out some beads, ribbons, leaves and sticks and a ball of hemp thread. She began making a dream catcher and I watched her. She asked if I wanted to play but I was feeling too restless to concentrate on something like that. It wasn't long before she finished it, and it did look like a beautiful, simple spiderweb/dream catcher. It was pretty. I wondered what kinds of dreams it would capture, and what kind of experiences these travelers would carry back to school. I wondered if they'd listen to and experience their own Greyhound myths and carry on traveling, even when they were sitting still. Even when they're sitting in a class room in Wisconsin. Only a little longer until we arrived. My bus trip was finally ending and theirs was just beginning. That made me happy. There's always a traveler on a bus trip. After what seemed like an endless last ride, the bus stopped. The town was small, and seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, but across the street, sure enough, there was Arby's, steady as a heartbeat. This time, I didn't even have to think about going in to use the rest rooms or buy french fries, or anything. This time I got off the bus and took a breath before getting on the trip in Evan's arms.
Copyright © 1994 by Deb Greene
All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyrights hereon may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means - graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems - without written permission of the author.
Last modified 02.09.96>