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Live from a Greyhound Bus

July 22, 2010

One Greyhound bus takes an average of 34 cars off the road.

At the station in Denver, I have to pick my ticket up at will call. There’s a verbal altercation at the ticket counter, because a woman at the front of the line let someone cut who claimed their bus was leaving.

“What the f*@#%?! We’ve been waiting here 45 f*@#%-ing minutes. If she wanted to make her bus, she should’ve f*@#%-ing gotten here early, like we all f*@#%-ing did.” is the general consensus of the people in line around me.

The woman who cut is quiet, but the woman who let the woman cut defends herself.

“Sometimes you got to do a good deed, and then karma will give you a good deed one day.”

Our bus is bound for Dallas, by way of Pueblo, Colorado, which is where I’m going to visit family. We leave Denver an hour behind schedule, because we have to wait for two busses arriving late from Salt Lake City. I watch out the window, as the passengers deboard, and I wonder if they’re Morman.
There’s traffic on the south side of the city, and it feels much later than the local 7:45 p.m. time, because the weather is stormy and dark. Then the powerful Colorado sun forces its way through the clouds, and a rainbow spans the city skyline. The man in front of me announces it to all. This rainbow is the third I’ve seen since moving to Denver two months ago.

I reach in my bag for the smoothie I blended before leaving the house hours earlier. My first sip reveals that the blueberries didn’t get fully blended. I chew the soggy texture-disrupting berries quickly and swallow in big fast gulps like I’m taking medicine.

The guy behind me is talking to the guy across the aisle about firearms.

“My buddy who went to Afghan said that M-16s are the best weapons out there.”

“It’s less about the weapon and more about who it is who’s at the trigger.”


“When I came back from Desert Storm, I saw this episode of COPS where they shot this guy in his driveway, and you could see his t-shirt move with every shot, but he just kept walking down the driveway.”

“He eventually bleed out?”

“Think so.”

Golden Rule of Greyhound: Find a seat near the front.

I put on my headphones and close my eyes. Nina Simone sings about laying her head on railroad tracks and letting the 2:19 train ease her troubled mind.

Waking from a snooze, I look over at the sleeping guy in the seat next to me and see that he has no left arm. I look more closely and find that he has no right arm either. How had I not noticed this when he sat down next to me? How had he lifted his bag into the overhead compartment?

Upon further inspection, I realize that he has actually tucked both healthy, fully-formed arms into his short-sleeved shirt against the bus’s erratic AC. Don’t only kids do that?

I call my uncle to let him know the bus will be getting in late. He tells me there were heavy rains and flooding in Colorado Springs and all but one lane of I-25 was closed due to an overturned horse trailer.

I pull out my jar of nuts and eat a couple pecans. They’re perfectly roasted and taste delicious.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Colette Horsburgh permalink
    June 13, 2012 6:10 am

    Hello 🙂 I’m planning a trip to American using the current Greyhound Discovery Pass and I found this article in my research. I’m linking to and referring to it in a blog post I’m writing. It’s not up yet, but it’ll be here:

    Thought you’d like to know.

    Thanks, Colette

    • avaerewyck permalink
      June 13, 2012 9:06 am

      Thanks so much for the link, Colette! Happy blogging and safe travels to you!


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