Remember how we wrote that post a week ago about the things we won’t miss from college?  Remember the one about college hippies and the militant feminists?  Well I’m stuck on a bus full of them for two and a half hours, starting now.  In the event that my soul expires en route, this will be an account of my final hours.

4:17 p.m.

The bus was late getting to the departure gate (how does that happen?), so we’ve just left Boston’s south station—20 minutes behind schedule.  This thing is packed full of college kids, not a single adult aboard besides the driver.  Being the nice guy that I am, I switched from my seat to allow some buddies to travel next to each other, and now I’m in a seat that won’t recline, while the seat ahead of me is stuck in the reclined position.  Our bus’s brakes make a sound like a broken copy machine.  It occurs to me that I’m prone to carsickness when I type on the move, so I’m feeling pretty nauseous.  The kids talking about their GPAs in the seat across from mine aren’t making things easier.

5:34 p.m.

Two iPod Playlists later we’re still closer to Boston than to my Amherst destination.  My phone says we’re about 70 miles out, but I figure that’ll take about 3 hours at this rate.  I’m remembering a travel writing course I took in college in which I read “The Old Patagonian Express” by Paul Theroux.  This book was cool because instead of writing about places like most travel writers do, he wrote about the journey.  I remember thinking how miserable he seemed in his writing—how pessimistic, lonely and tired.  At the time, I thought he was just a jerk.  Now I get it.

5:45 p.m.

The view (the back of some dude’s head) sucks.  I’m contemplating pulling the emergency roof hatch just to get some fresh air and a glimpse of the sky.

5:50 p.m.

Just passed a lake and saw a hawk flying above it.  This make me wish that I could be that hawk, which made me think about that series “Animorphs,” which made me realize just how tired my brain must be.

5:55 p.m.

Airlines name their companies to reflect exactly what they are.  Air France services France.  US Airways, the states.  The German line has a German name that eludes me at the moment, but you get the picture.  Airlines can do this because once they get into the air, they basically get where they’re going without incident.  Bus lines, because of traffic like, what I’m in, have no such luxury.  They choose company names that trick you into thinking they’ll get you to your destination in the blink of an eye.  There’s Peter Pan, who can fly to different worlds.  There’s Greyhound, like the dogs that were bred for speed.  There’s Bolt, which implies the speed of light.  An honest bus company would be called “Toad.”  It’ll get there eventually, but it’s going to take a painfully indirect route, bump into a few logs, and look really awkward while doing it.

6:05 p.m.

A woman just passed me on her way back to her seat from the bathroom in the rear of the bus.  She smelled like vodka.  Sure, it’s déclassé at best, and I would normally frown on the behavior.  Today, I’ll let it slide.


A kid with dreads wearing a shirt that said “U. R. High” with a pot leaf underneath just stepped on my foot.  He didn’t apologize.  Just one more reason why I hate college hippies.


Someone on this bus has been chewing cinnamon gum (or maybe munching a bag of Hot Tamales) for the whole trip, and now the whole bus smells like it.  There are times when you want to experience cinnamon.  Now is not one of them.


My computer’s battery is running low, and this worries me because the crazy feminists are back at it again, chattering about how their boyfriends suck, and how they’ve been mistreated by airport personnel (probably men).  Ray Bradbury said you have to stay drunk on writing so reality won’t destroy you.  So far, it’s been working, but when my laptop dies and I’m without pen and paper, there’s a chance I’ll implode like a dying star.  Someone up front is whistling that relentless tune from Kill Bill volume whatever.  I wish I had time to write my will.


Five percent battery.  It’s time to brave the unknown.