Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Greyhound Goes to Colorado

Being a survivor of the twenty-nine-hour bus ride to Walt Disney World as a teenager, I decided it was high time for another bus adventure. This time, a mere fifteen-hour trip to Colorado Springs for Easter would have to do.

During the first leg of the trip from Cowtown to Amarillo, I sat next to a guy who was heading to Amarillo to pick up a semi, so he slept most of the way. That gave me plenty of opportunities to watch the bus driver chew a wooden coffee stirrer. Seriously, he chewed the thing for close to six hours. The only other things competing for my attention were the various coughs from half of the passengers and the numerous smells--burning trash, a skunk that had sprayed, someone's overuse of Vick's VapoRub and hand sanitizer, and cigarette smoke lingering on passengers as they reboarded the bus at each stop. The passengers seemed very tame in comparison to those I had ridden with to Florida.

But then there was the return trip.

For whatever reason, the Amarillo bus station seems to be quite the melting pot. So during my hour layover, I watched as people lived out their stories around me.

The woman who talked to herself.

The young woman who sang and danced as if no one was watching. She wasn't afraid to tell everyone that she had been a ward of the State of Oregon when she was younger and that her brain didn't make serotonin.

But the one that seemed to capture everyone's attention was the eighteen-year-old boy who looked like he was about twelve and who made it known that he talked a lot because he was bipolar. He said his parents were deceased and that he was tired of dealing with people in New Mexico. He wanted to come to Texas to see "some shootings." Due to his apparent inability to filter the words that were coming out of his mouth, I was concerned that he was going to say some things that might draw some fire--as in gunfire--from some other people who were riding the bus.

But thankfully, a middle-aged gentleman with a Bible in one hand and a jacket in the other boarded the bus with the boy. The boy said that the gentleman went to his church and had helped him a lot. That gentleman sat next to the boy on the bus and allowed him to talk incessantly. And when the gentleman got off in Wichita Falls, he didn't get in the waiting taxi until he had given the boy some money and a hug.

Sights like that paint a picture of earthly angels. And yet, my drama-free bus trip makes me think maybe there were other such earthly angels on board who were less obvious.

Getting my luggage in Colorado (a/k/a proof that I took the bus)

So for those who were looking for a highly dramatic story, I'm thankful that I don't have one to tell. Just a simple trip filled with good times. And some unexpected surprises along the way . . .

1 comment:

Krista said...

Well, you win the award for "Bravery" in my book! Don't know if I will ever get up the nerve to take the Greyhound!!