Wednesday, March 28, 2001

(part 2)
I bummed around the rest of the afternoon, getting wired on coffee at Starbuck's and taking a look at the grassy knoll and the former Texas School Book Depository. Around 5, I headed back to the Greyhound station. While I was standing outside smoking, a guy walked up to me and introduced himself. Uh-oh, I thought. His first comment after the introductions were made was that I was a man of God - he could tell by my energy as I walked by. Any time a stranger mentions the word "God" to me, my immediate reaction is to become immensely uncomfortable. This was no exception. We (he) talked for a few more minutes; he pried about my life and offered up details of his. Then he asked if I would help a man buy a hamburger. Overjoyed that this must be a precursor to his departure from my company, I reached into my pocket and pulled out a $5 bill for him. He thanked me and gave me a big hug, which was oddly peaceful.

I did manage to make the 7:00 bus, which was great.

This story is to be continued as I have no more time in the Internet cafe!
When I told my friend Dave that I was planning on doing a cross-country trip on Greyhound, he was absolutely horrified. He said I should keep a journal, reasoning that if I survive, I'll definitely be able to publish it. We'll see. Last Saturday, I went to the bus station to buy my ticket. I already knew from looking at the schedule on the web which bus I wanted - 7:45 on Monday morning. Somehow (I'm now completely sure how) I wound up with a ticket that had me leaving at 1:35 am, wrapped in a ticket jacket that had written on it 7:45 pm. I figured they just issue you whatever ticket and it gets straightened out when you actually want to take the bus. Whatever.

When I showed up at the bus station on Monday morning, I found out the 7:45 bus runs only on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Yes, the computer says the bus runs, but it doesn't. Ok, I said, already glad that I was taking this journey for the adventure, rather than to get to Chicago in a timely manner. There is a bus leaving for Dallas at 9:05, I found out. She said I could board that bus, but remarkable she couldn't ticket me for that one - I instead wound up with a ticket for the nonexistent 7:45 bus with an impossible 11:45 connection in Dallas. Due to arrive in Dallas at 12:10, I was supposed to catch a 12:30 connection to Memphis.

We didn't get to Dallas until around 12:30, so I figured my connection was shot. I went to the ticket counter, and they told me to board the bus bound for Detroit. Awesome, I thought. I went to that bus and had the baggage guy put my bag on that bus. Then when the driver eventually opened the door, he told me it was full and I would have to take a different bus. Besides, I didn't have a ticket for that one - I had missed my bus. "Ok, but I'll need to get my bag." His response was to yell at me for putting my bag on the bus before talking to him, then he grudgingly opened the door to the baggage compartment. I went back to the baggage counter and got ticketed for the next bus to Memphis, six hours later. I decided to put my bag in a locker. The locker wasn't working - the part that took my money wasn't turning on. A guy sitting a few feet noticed this, walked over, opened the locker, gave it a skilled tap (at which point the machine turned on), and sat back down, all without saying a word. Pretty cool.

Once out in the streets of Dallas, I was able to find a trendy-ish restaurant to dine in. it was really great - very un-Greyhound.