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Life is only what you wonder.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Return

Got back from my-mini vacation last night. I have to get ready for work soon, but not before a few notes on my journey home.

I didn't mention it, but I chose to take the Greyhound bus for my trip this time.
In my travels I've taken planes, trains, boats and now, buses and I can say for a fact that planes are my favorite mode of transportation.
And they certainly get you there faster. In a plane I could have gotten to NC in an hour and a half, by bus in took nearly thirteen hours.
Although I will say that the Greyhound bus is much less expensive. A plane ticket cost four times as much as the bus ticket did.
So if your in a hurry, take a plane. On a budget, take the bus.

Another aspect of bus travel I didn't expect was meeting different people from different areas with different modes of thinking. The bus is a polyglot of all kinds of everybody from absolutely everywhere going almost anywhere.

The bus had stopped a Greensboro to let on new passengers, and I had stepped off to grab a quick smoke because I wouldn't get another chance until Danville, VA, which was two hours from then. I felt someone tap my shoulder.

    "Can I use your lighter for a sec?"
She was a short slim girl with the darkest tan I'd ever seen on a white person, and her pale blond hair was dreadlocked and tied with a scarf on top of her head so the braids fell down all around her face. She was wearing slightly worn frock-type floral-print dress with scarves around her waist as a makeshift belt, and her sandals looked like something she'd made herself, a soft cork-like material affixed to her feet with ribbons which were tied around her ankles.
The hand-rolled cigarette she lit did not contain tobacco.
    "That's not what I think it is, is it?"
I turned and the voice belonged to a young boy no older than twenty-one. He was smoking Marlboro Reds. He had a thick southern accent and looked like the all-American corn-fed boy-next-door. His sandy brown hair was kind of long, like he needed a haircut, and he was wearing baggy jeans, Timbs, and a Roca-Wear t-shirt four sizes too big. He had a smiley-face tattoo on his arm that he had done himself when he was thirteen. ("I used India ink and a needle. Paw gave me a whuppin' for it, too!" he explained.)

"It's my own blend of rosemary, rose hips, hibiscus, and a dash of peyote." She replied, taking another drag.

Her name was Lasy (pronounced layz-see, kind of like "lazy" and kind of like "lacy") and she was going from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Sarasota, Florida and she'd been traveling for 59 hours at that point.

"Only adrenaline is keeping me awake at this point." she said lazily.
His name was Dale and he was from Omaha and he was headed to Atlanta to live with his Aunt. It was going to be his first time in a "big city" and he was excited and nervous at the same time.

When it came time to get back on the bus, we three sat together. Dale next to me, and Lasy diagonally across from us.
And we talked.
Lacy told us about living on a Native-American Reservation, and dream-spirits and vision quests and sleeping under the stars.
Dale talked about working on his Daddy's farm, tractors, horses, his five brothers and sisters and the nearest store being ten miles from the farm.
And I told all of my stories. (Most of which you can read on here somewhere.)
We talked about religion, politics, relationships. You name it, we talked about it.

We talked like old friends who'd known one another for years. People that normally wouldn't interact with one another, thrust into this situation, and by golly, they're getting along famously.
It was kind of like the last twenty minutes of The Breakfast Club, only it went on for hours.

At rest stops we got out and stretched, got some food, and smoked cigarettes together, traveling as a group.
"Strength in numbers" Lasy said.

Before she got off in Arlington, VA she offered to roll us each one of her peyote cigarettes. (Dale took one, but I said no thanks.)
Dale got off one stop after, in Washington, DC

It's kind of surreal writing about it all now. Like something I dreamed, or a story somebody wrote.
And it couldn't have happened any other way. There's no way the three of us would have ended up on the same plane. And even if we did, the circumstances would have been different, or we would have been distracted by the in-flight movie or something.

I think I'm going to cherish it because I am fully aware what it was: a brief moment in time.

Chances are we will never meet again, but then again, stranger things have happened.