Ah the greyhound! You collect your tickets from a motel office, you await inline in a garage parking lot and see who is to accompany you on your leg of a journey across the USA.
The greyhound bus arrives, what model? What fleet number did we get? Is it good or is it bad? Looks can be deceiving!
People get off for a rest break, people now eyeball you up and down, squaring you up for the taking or the talking. You board, you look for a seat way far away from the eyeballers and talkers. One slip of the tongue and you are locked into a conversation for the foreseeable future. Only the earphones can save you now.
You stop, you start, you change. You listen, you talk, you listen to music, you doze, you sleep, a knock or stop and you awake. The journey breaks you. Desperate times call for desperate measures, using the greyhound is one of them.
No air conditioning is the issue of the day, the bus doesn’t move while we have no air con. The sweat box picks up heat. Ideas to fix it, knobs to be tweaked, nothing works, the big vents on the roof are pushed wide open and the animals aboard get air. We move.
It gets cold. Hot versus cold, you choose which you would rather be. You would rather be cold than hot as at least you are moving. Maybe the really cold ones won as now the heaters are tried even though they are on the same broken air con unit. Sparks fly, things change, we stop at a rest area and now don’t move.
The engine has stopped working, the bus has stopped, stranded nowhere, people leave, and people are collected. We stay still.
Sleep is the only option with this altercation, a replacement bus is five hours away, you wait, you sleep.
Which is worse sleeping in your one seat of a car, or sleeping on a greyhound bus with two seats next to an isle and the gazing eyes of people you do not know? You become undecided, court in the middle, neither are good, neither hold luxury or comfort, neither hold hope or promise of sleep.
You sleep, you awake, you sleep. Time passes in a surprising manner, the driver has done his bit with regular updates on the arrival of the replacement bus. You sleep.
You awake. A visit to the restroom, await the replacement, all off, all on, await a bag switch and you hope your bags made it on the replacement bus. We set off. The greyhound is back on the move.
Five extra hours added to the greyhound experience, for a faulty air con unit, for a good driver trying to please all, we have lost a few people into the night’s dark sky but it’s not your responsibility to know where they have gone.
The sun begins to rise as we pull away, cresting over a line of parked trucks and the rim of a mountain range. This can only inspire the writings of the greyhound bus. The shuttle from A to D via M, Q and K.
Ah the greyhound, the bus of all possibilities, no smooth ride, no fun, the soul sucking trek across the USA. If god has to transport people away from heaven to hell, then this is how he does it, the judgement has come!