In retrospect, it’s probably a good thing that this all happened on the way back from my trip to North Carolina, because if it had happened on the way there, I probably would have kicked that toddler who kept offering me her fried chicken right in the face. It was that bad.
It took forever to get my ass down there, mostly because Josh still has court dates floating around, and of course every time one of them comes up, we have to prepare for the very real possibility of him being taken away for some time. Every time so far, of course, it’s been continued. It’s a pretty shitty feeling to half-want your boyfriend to hurry up and go to jail already, not knowing for how long, but there’s not much that can be done about that. Eventually, however, a date was pushed back by a few weeks, and there was a three week window before his next date. That was enough time to do some frantic research and organize a way to cross the border without a passport – by land or sea was the only way, and so I hopped my ass on the Greyhound.
The trip there was fairly smooth sailing, except for that chicken loving tot and an hour long delay just outside of Buffalo when someone suddenly realized that the driver was not senior enough to be trusted on his own and needed a supervisor along for the ride (nobody had told this supervisor, and so we had to wait for him to be called at home shortly after midnight). And the trip itself was fantastic.
The trip back? Not so much.
Firstly was knowing that by the time I got back, Josh would be waking up to another court date. Secondly is this funny thing my body likes to do when I’m anxious or stressed out, which is called throwing a panic attack/shitfit. I left on a Sunday night at 10pm, and I was fine until about 4pm in the afternoon, at which point I realized that I couldn’t breathe. Oh, joyous occasion. So much for one last roll in the hay, I’m too busy trying to get over this feeling of being stuffed with acid-soaked expanding cotton. Well whatever, stock up on Ativan or something for the next trip, it’s not like I can smoke weed on the Greyhound.
On the other hand, whoever is in charge of Greyhound can apparently smoke bucketloads of whatever the hell they were on. Really, it’s all sort of funny now, but at the time…well here, peep this:
So from North Carolina to Richmond, I pretty much felt like I was going to die. Which isn’t very helpful when there isn’t a hospital in sight, and even if there was, insurance doesn’t cover crazy problems. So all I focus on is “When I get to Richmond, I go to door number 10, because I’m going to Washington next. Door number 10, door number 10.” Good mantra. Sort of. Except I’m going to Washington and then New York, which somehow means I need to be at door 12. Which has a looooooooong, foreboding line.
I don’t make the bus. It’s full. So now it’s some ungodly hour, I’m stuck in a bus station in Virginia surrounded by a disproportionate number of chicks of the “I just got mah hair did” variety trying to shove their tater tot kids ahead of people in the still growing line, and am accosted by televisions in every direction going ON and ON and ON and ON about some retarded Hulk Hogan death threat scandal that I seriously couldn’t give a shit about from a legitimate news source, nevermind an incredibly biased scandal show trying to make its way from Entertainment Tonight status to CNN fearmongering.
I. Am. Pissed. I’m even more pissed that it takes until quarter to six in the morning for another fucking bus to show up. And any concerns with luggage, by the way, are greeted in the quintessential Greyhound Bus Team manner with “Dat ain’t mah prawllum, ma’am” which I’m assuming means “This concern of yours does not pertain to my job description, please go to the help desk where nobody is waiting to assist you.” The concern? Bus drivers tossing my shit to the ground and springing open the snaps keeping my hardshell suitcase shut so that it now pops open every time I roll it over any kind of bump, say the edge of an escalator. Fabulous.
I don’t even remember Washington, but I’m pretty sure it sucked there too. New York is ridiculous. You’d think being such a central hub they’d have a more high tech system of letting me know where to go, but apparently not. And the lineup I think I’m supposed to be in doesn’t have the correct information above the door, and is surrounded by confused floaters trying to get everywhere from Buffalo to Geneva. Isn’t that in Switzerland? Eventually some kid with a disgustingly mangled and puffed up ear lobe covered ineffectively with a single bandaid shows up to drive our bus all the way to Syracuse.
The bus breaks down.
I’m not even joking, the bus fucking breaks down. It’s a damn good thing there are two training busses out teaching routes to new drivers to come to our rescue two hours later, or who knows how long we would have been stuck at that scorching truck station. By the way Mr. Obviously New Driver, it’s not a good idea to abandon the bus for a while to make some calls and leave the door open to some toothless jackass who feels like climbing aboard and describing in great detail the horrible Greyhound accident he saw last week where several people died. Particularly when he replies to my question “Who are you and why are you on my bus?” with “Ahm a truck drahver” as if this merits him access to my immediate vicinity. GET OFF MY FUCKING BUS!
Eventually we continue on our merry way to Syracuse, except we have to roll through some tiny little smudge of a town first so one fat asshole can get off. Thanks for putting that on the schedule, nice to know where I’m going. The driver gets lost because dispatch gave him the wrong directions, so the fatass wanting to get off has to sit up front with the driver and tell him where to go. Super fab guys, good job! Thanks for fucking up absolutely everything so far.
We make it to Syracuse and I am through being polite. I shove my way to the Customer Service desk and interrupt about three people trying to talk to yet another fattie with ornately did hair to inquire as to the next departure time for getting my ass to Buffalo which, according to my not very helpful tickets is where my next transfer is. It’s 6pm Monday night by now, I’ve spent the entire hellish day on a motherfucking bus, and I’m already supposed to be in Buffalo. 8, she says, before commenting on my rudeness to the others (I care not after such a day of jackassery) you gotta wait another hour and a half.
FUCKITY FUCK FUCK FUCK!
And then…finally…FINALLY something goes my way. The first sane person I’d come across since leaving my boyfriend at the bus platform comes over to the desk and speaks into the microphone: “Last call for Buffalo to Toronto, gate %(#$Gm3fh$mumblemumblemumble.”
That’s me! That’s me that’s me that’s me! I run over to the desk and amidst a flurry of “Oh thank you!”s asked her what bus she had said and told her the basic gyst of what had happened. I could have cried, this wonderful woman was the best thing I had seen all day despite her lesbian haircut, and for once I was speaking to someone who knew what the hell they were doing and wasn’t just working her lame ass job to feed her fifteen “keeeids” wonderbread and hotsauce. She was an angel with her “Oh, let’s hurry, we’ve got to get you on that bus! It’s running late, lucky for you or you would have never made it! Grab your luggage, follow me!”
Well at least I’m headed somewhere now, and from there to the border it’s not too bad. Except for the asshole bus driver who tossed my shit hard enough to spring my suitcase right open on the pavement in front of customs, lipsticks and shoes rolling everywhere, and the nice gash I received on my hand trying to close it up quickly enough to not fall behind the others. Lord knows you don’t want to call attention to yourself at the border.
It’s nearing midnight as we finally start crawling through Ontario, with more stops in completely unnecessary towns that should not be afforded any kind of external transportation service for the sole reason of their shitty ass location. At the St. Catherines bus station, closed at that point and rather desolate and scary looking, we are delayed with further jackassery as some 17 year old in slutty heels start screaming and crying because the driver isn’t supposed to let her on with only garbage bags for luggage. Tears this and bullshit that and phone calls to parents and a nice healthy dose of “Well then maybe you’re too fucking young to be travelling by yourself, eh princess?” (which was my brain speaking, even the asshole driver had more composure than the raging homicidal lunatic rattling around in my head at this point.)
More jackassery as people realize along these teeny little stops that the driver won’t let them off or at least won’t let them get their luggage since they requested these stops “after we have crossed the border” (his precise words) and not “while I’m repacking the luggage so I can put it in a seperate compartment for easy access” (what he apparently meant). So more screaming and hissy fits and yelling in empty parking lots in the wee hours of the morning.
Finally I’m home in a good and proper city with taxis and lights and bus stations that are open 24 hours since they are used 24 hours. Don’t thank me for taking Greyhound you uptight son of a bitch, just give me my fucking suitcase so I can get the fuck home. He does, springing it open yet again. I’m almost there, so close, soooooo close.
But I have to pee. Seriously, I haven’t gone all fucking day because you can’t abandon your luggage for fear of drug muling and theft and blah blah blah. So I race across the waiting room and jam that elevator button so fucking hard and so many times I’m surprised I didn’t break my thumb too. Because you know how it is: once you’re close to the bathroom, the need to pee escalates. Gotta pee, gotta pee, gotta pee, gotta pee, down in the elevator now, hooooooold it. Hoooooooold it. Okay, and the doors open, and out we go, and –
SHITFUCKMOTHERFUCKERCOCKSUCKINGSONOFABITCHASSWHORE!!!!!!! My suitcase has just sprung open YET AGAIN! GRRRR!!!!! I collect my shit, slam it shut, and after a full day of idiocy, finally snap and kick that motherfucker as hard as I can. Then I run to bathroom, pee, hail a cab out in the streets, lug the superheavy suitcase up the narrow stairs to my flat (dropping my wallet halfway up and having to go retrieve it, bursting into tears at that point) and finally crash into bed.
I wake up the next morning, just a few hours later for work. And my poor toe is shiny and purple. Yep, it’s broken.
I tell you, I should never have got back on the goddamned bus.