Bus 1682, 3:20 AM, January 7, 2011—8:30 AM, January 7, 2011

Clenching my asshole closed, shivering, and puffing as quickly away as possible at this beautiful little stogie, I stood in a circle with total strangers as Mother Fucker lied his ass off and inspired his name sake. “I can kill a 30-pack of Miller,” he said, boasting. I interjected, “That’s because you’re drinking Miller, drink a real beer.” Nobody laughed, nobody nodded, but it was met with another tall tale. “Back home, they call me Mother Fucker.” He bobbed up and down a bit. “Because you fuck mothers?” asked James. I say “asked” but it was more like he stated it; he was a really friendly guy. “Well, the first night I got drunk, I had four Magnums. I drank ‘em all real fast and took my girlfriend’s mom out to the shed and I fucked her.” What a crock of shit. This kid was a fucking virgin. “I fucked her, and then I fucked her mother.” So that’s Mother Fucker.

I left James and Mother Fucker halfway through the conversation. My bowels had put up a good fight, but it was time. I found the bathroom quickly, passing the two young girls, but I was too busy to imagine them as strippers; I had work to do. I picked a stall, blockaded myself in, and began to remove my coat at which time a sound bellowed from two stalls down with the force of a turbine engine. It was the projectile spray from the anus of the ancient old fart who had been two steps ahead of me the entire time. I actually felt good for him. I was about to experience a similar glory in my colon.

I dropped trough and began the usual deal. Oh shit! I had trained myself too well. Nothing was happening. How could this be? I sat confused and hunched over, feet on the floor. I thought of laughing. I thought of crying. Then, I gave the slightest push, and out came Slim Jims. It was perhaps the happiest I had been this entire journey. I did it: I was pooping. It was such a weight off of me. I got a fucking boner!

And then it just stopped. Just like that, halfway through the job. I pushed and waited and tried, but nothing was working, it just was going to have to happen later, I guess. It was like the women who have sex with me say they feel all the time. It was awful! So now I give head, but we’re getting sidetracked from the shit at hand. Shit sucked, and while those women walked away from the experience feeling empty inside, I did not have that luxury, and there was no telling when round two would be coming.

I sat down near the wall and plugged in my phone where Mother Fucker was fumbling with his  charger with his Oscar Meyer fingers. I said nothing: this kid was awkward and my trip was almost over. Fuck me, fuck him. Just as quickly as I sat down, a young hoodlum carrying a suspicious-looking backpack wandered over. “Some guy just got busted selling dope outside, there’s like ten cop cars.” This sent that all too familiar wave of panic from my brain to my own very suspicious-looking backpack. “I’m nervous, I’ve got more on me,” he said through his broken teeth. I’m glad he wasn’t the only nervous toothless degenerate in the Kansas City Greyhound station shaking in his boots, or in his case, shaking in his Air Jordans over the prospect of spending time in jail over what I would call a simple misunderstanding. “I’m nine dollars short for a ticket man, can you help me out?” He was looking around. Probably a narc, but if I had the money, I would have gladly purchased his drugs from him. “I’m broke man, sorry.” And just as quickly as he came, he left.

Refusing to pay $1.50 for a candy bar and not having the funds to procure a personal pizza for $6.89, I dug through my inventory searching for sustenance. The Whatchacallits from Kanja! Success! I wondered if I could pull a hustle on Greyhound by selling them for $0.50 a pop, but there was no time for that. I inserted them one at a time through my teeth hole and my stomach growled with discontent. Mother Fucker was lurking around, no doubt on the prowl for Miller and mature women and just generally creeping me out. There was something unsettling about this kid. It wasn’t the freckles, it wasn’t the hair, it wasn’t the fact that Lucille Ball’s pubic hair seemed to have strapped itself to the end of his chin. It was how he walked: hunched and swaying. I expected him to cackle, “my precious, Mother Fucker loves the precious” at any moment. Maybe I’m just too judgmental.

I sat waiting for my bus to St. Louis to arrive, my re-boarding pass crumpled together with my tickets and itinerary. I could now somewhat peacefully imagine the only two attractive young ladies in the building as strippers, gliding in rings around a pole and seductively whispering explicit and erotic words into my ear canal, pressing their chins on either side of my neck, fondling my junk, unzipping my pants and LAST BOARDING CALL FOR GATE NUMBER THREE ROUTE 1682 TO ST. LOUIS!

Carefully adjusting my member, I stood up and wiggled my way over to the gate, once again pressing myself onto the mobile irritation creation device, but this time I was in luck. A window seat, by God, a window seat! I was so excited I began to fantasize about sleeping. It was better than the two stripper girls who were begging to be piled and fucked by a toothless drunk. It was to be the thing books were written about for centuries. I was going to make a coma seem like a daydream. At long last, after so long, I could perhaps refuel. Oh, happy days were here to stay.

It was around this time that I heard the roar of a mother grizzly protecting her cubs. For reasons still unknown to me, a tall, middle-aged black woman with hair that I could only describe as large and razorblade-like in texture was screaming at the driver, who appeared to have a good attitude about it as he laughed in her face.

“Ma’am, you are not riding with me, you are out of control.”

“Oh no, you let me and my baby on this bus right now!”

“I can’t do that ma’am, you’re going to have to catch another bus.”

At this point, she walked onto the bus and stood staring like a deer in headlights. We all stared back, thinking in unison, “What a crazy bitch!” I heard a call from our driver. “Ma’am, I am going to have to ask you to step off of the bus, you’re not riding with me.” The crazy bitch was still looking down the long aisle of the ‘Hound. “There’s no room on this bus anyway!” she snarked, strutting off to wait ten hours for the next bus to St. Louis. I just wanted some sleep, damn it.

More passengers boarded, including an older white woman in sunglasses with her face wrapped up like the Invisible Man, no doubt from her recent rhinoplasty. More children, more fat fuckers, more toothless drunks; the same list as usual. Finally, someone sat down next to me. It was a young gal, I’d say 17 years old, with a notebook. She and her family were riding to Memphis. I was in no mood to make conversation, though she was very chatty. I never bothered to ask her name. The mission here was to sleep. I was exhausted, I had a window seat, and it was time to get some rest, God damn it, or I was going to make Israeli bus bombings look like a firecracker mishap simply with my rage-filled fists. So there we waited, my seatmate chatting with her mother and sister, Mother Fucker in the back arguing with his supposed girlfriend, the driver laughing with his coworkers about the crazy bitch who couldn’t get on the bus. Eventually, we took off to St. Louis, home of the Cardinals!

I woke up in St. Louis, coat over my head and leaning on the lap of the seventeen year old girl beside me. I was embarrassed but said nothing, looking at my shoes and getting off of the bus as quickly as possible. I had dreams I was Batman, the best thing to happen to me since my nearly-epic bowel movement back in Kansas City. The driver informed us that the gate to Indianapolis, Indiana was gate eight. “Gate eight, gate eight,” I croaked, mimicking the Grape Ape. Nobody laughed.

The St. Louis Greyhound/Amtrak station was surprisingly empty but large, and had this been ten years ago, it would have been quite modern. The televisions played an infomercial on repeat for a pair of insoles for your shoes sold at a shop called Good Feet. It repeated the same slogan over and over: “If your back hurts, look at your feet! Your problems may be coming from your feet!” As a batter swung and missed a pitch, the umpire stepped to his side and began to point and yell at the player’s feet. I started to laugh and a bearded, likely fellow Northwesterner looked me square in the eyes and smiled. “Oh good Lord, what would Tyler Durden have to say about this?” I smirked in agreement.

The intercom appeared to be run by a robot. This mechanical being would run through the same script every fifteen minutes or so reminding us where we were and what to do while we were there. “Welcome to St. Louis. Unattended items are subject to being confiscated and destroyed without warning. Do not leave your bags attended by strangers, do not look after bags for strangers under any circumstances. If you see a suspicious person or baggage, please report it to security immediately. Alcohol, illegal substances, weapons, and fireworks are strictly prohibited inside of the station.” Damn, why didn’t I bring fireworks?

I reeked of cigarettes, but I suppose it was better than smelling like whiskey and weed. I sure could go for a swig, I thought, but alas, I wouldn’t get the chance and I knew it. Perhaps on the bus to Indianapolis I could recline and drench myself in firewater, just in time to meet Mother in Cleveland. Groggy from my crime fighting, I made my way onto the bus, through gate eight, gate eight, and who should happen to greet me right away, smiling like an old friend: the 17-year-old girl I had accidentally gotten my cuddle on with. “Want to sit next to me?” She beamed. Oh, fuck me. No wait, don’t! In a panic, I agreed and sat down; it was a chance to get a window seat at least. I had to make sure to stay as far pressed against the window as I could as to not add to those charges upon my inevitable capture.

With my new little girlfriend sitting next to me coloring in her notebook, I couldn’t very well crack open the Old Crow and get to town. I shoved my earbuds deep into my brain and rolled my eyes. It was almost over; just a few more miles. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard a rabbit scream, but they do. That’s what I thought was happening while I was relaxing as best I could, thinking unsexy thoughts and being swept away by the angelic voice of Regina Spektor. I jumped about three feet in the air and hit my head on the overhead compartment. It appears another crazy bitch had gotten onto the bus at some point and was yelling at the driver through tears.

“They sold me a ticket to Knoxville, I needed to get to Nashville!”

“Ma’am, what would you like me to do?”

“What they did to me was wrong!”

“What would you like to do, ma’am?”

“I can’t believe this!”

“Look at how you’re talking to me, ma’am. What do you want to do?”

“It’s not you, it’s the people at the front desk!”

“What would you like to do, ma’am?”

“Ah, just forget it!” And then she laid back down. Greyhound is a fucked up place to be.

I got no real sleep, snapped a photo on my phone of Busch Stadium, and our next stop was Effingham, Illinois. Pulling into the Pilot Travel Center, I was not at all astonished to see the golden arches glaring at me from across the parking lot, reflecting off of the snow and pulling me towards an Egg McMuffin. Dear God, I had never once craved McDonald’s before, but this trip had changed me. I still had my soup, but didn’t bother looking for a microwave; I was broke and only McDonald’s would suffice. Knowing I would regret it, I smoked a cigarette ankle-deep in snow next to a white prison transport van and three cons in gray sweatsuits. You fucked up, I thought. Hopefully that wouldn’t be me and I could make it to Cleveland, home of one of the worst football teams in the league, and smoke up on some of this Washington dank. I shivered and sailed back to my seat, next to my new girlfriend, and plugged up my ears.

About halfway to Indianapolis, there was a grumble in my gut. The warning sirens were blaring, lights flashing, red alert. I had to take care of this right then and right there. I tried making my way back towards the back right corner of the bus, leaping over the legs of passengers sprawled out in their precious double seats. Making my way through the obstacle course of human limbs and jostled backpacks, I mentally prepared myself for the challenge of a lifetime: shitting at 70 miles an hour in a four by six room that could rattle in any given direction at any time. It would take all of my concentration to avoid falling into the dark blue pond of toilet paper and turds. I finally arrived at the door. It was locked. I sat down in an empty seat and sulked. Then a blast from the intercom alerted us that we were about to arrive in Indianapolis and the bus to Cleveland would be waiting for me. Hold it in, boys.


For all installments of “My Love and Peace Letter to Greyhound,” click here.

Previous installments:

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3
  4. Part 4