I’ve weathered the public transit, which I think gets harder the closer you live to Detroit. I love my car. I love being able to start and stop a trip at my leisure. I also like being able to blast my own music via Bluetooth. I like my seat, which is beginning to simply be formed to the exact shape of my butt with how much I’m in my car. But, I suppose with any good and lucky life, you do knew things and expand your cultural horizon. So, my trip to Chicago, I took a bus. I saw things.
1. The Greyhound destination is no longer by the big HUGE sign that says Bus Depot. Why would it be there? Apparently, so that you can awkwardly go into a hotel, ask where you should be going even though it isn’t the concierge’s job to know, have them print off directions, and then walk fifteen minutes to a parking structure that has a little Greyhound ticket office built into the wall. But thank God the Greyhound website suggested you get there at least an hour early. You wouldn’t want to miss standing outside in freezing weather, waiting for a bus with no place to sit.
2. I know this is because I’m short, fat, and female, but why do people seek me out to talk to me? I do not care about Crazy Pants’s opinions on travelling car vs. plane vs. train. What do I care about? I care that the man in the ticket booth just said the bus was delayed by another half an hour, which, after Crazy Pants goes to every single person in a block radius to confirm that they know the bus is delayed, she will come back and start talking to me about planes vs. trains vs. automobiles but how it was in the 70s. You are my age, Crazy Pants. You have no idea how it was in the 70s.
3. These are not my people. I have preppy U of M students desperately in love with each other and themselves, an angry appearing Asian whom I arguably loved because she stood near me but also ignored that I existed, a drunk women that got kicked off the bus to Detroit and was yelling about a bus driver, and other motley people I began to realize I was going to spend four and a half hours on a bus with.
4. Picking a seat is the worst. I will never in my life sit down in an empty seat next to someone unless all other options are taken. This mostly means I’ll never sit in the front of the bus. So, pro: I got a whole bench to myself for the majority of the trip. Con: I was by the bathroom and while no one took a dump, it smelled like kitty litter for the whole ride. Also, I was too short to put my bag on the rack and my bag was to fat to fit under the seat. Probably illegally, I just had to sit with my feet on either side of it while it ate up leg room.
5. Free Wi-Fi. Outlets. My views on bus rides are pretty much locked on the train wreck that was going to D.C. during my eighth grade year. It was long; it was miserable; there was not enough technology happening. I thought any Wi-Fi would be an extra charge of some sort. I didn’t even think that an outlet would be a possibility. There is a God and he loves me.
6. That driver doesn’t know me. He doesn’t know who I am. He said we had a fifteen minute break in Kalamazoo, but we were leaving at 6:50 pm. Yes, sir. Get out the way, other passengers. I have to find the bathroom, pee, and get back on the bus before this stranger leaves me in the dust. I don’t have time to figure out an alternative route to Chicago.
7. Again, I seem docile to the outside world. I don’t look drunk or drugged. I’ve been taught to speak politely to others and smile, even at strangers. What is my reward? Some fool who think I want to listen to him have the same phone conversation with five different friends all punctuated by him playing his music so loud that I can hear the words. “Boy. I say, boy, I’m not going to do or say anything to you because I don’t know what sort of weapons might be on your person. I will, however, hate you with a seething hatred quietly from my side of this bench.”
8. For a bit, there’s excitement. I felt like I was in some sort of movie or show. There I was, single female in her twenties going to Chicago for adventure. I booked and bought my own tickets so I felt extra adult. Of all the stupid and boring things I waste my life with, escaping my life for a moment was not one of them.
9. Then there’s less excitement. Small things like people plastic wrappers, their loud music, their snobbish conversations all start polluting the tiny bit of air around me and I the only thing that keeps me sane is pulling up m map feature on my phone and watching the blinking blue dot get closer and closer to Chicago. My destination is a countable amount of time away which means that there is an end. I won’t spend the rest of my life stuck on a bus,which might actually be what hell is. The threads of sanity and happiness dwindle away into darkness.
10. But the all time best part of it all was getting off the bus and having Faith run to me like we’re on a beach. I wanted a sunset and Chariots of Fire playing over the PA system. Faith really brought it as the Chicago welcoming committee. I think I was just really happy to not be on a bus and that she found me despite having given her and Carl the incorrect information. Whatever. I survived. I was victorious. I had a raucous good time with Faith in Chicago and am better for it.