Roughly 40 hours later and I am just getting into my spot for the next few days – a cozy, gutted bus in Montgomery.
The trip was only supposed to take 20 hours, but lucky me I got nearly twice the amount of time traveling for the same price ! The bus driver left us in Raleigh and never came back from what I understood after getting kicked off the bus in the pouring rain around 3am. I wrote letters and read books until leaving for Atlanta finally at 6:15. It would be another 15h before I even hit the Alabama state line.
The Atlanta Greyhound station was disturbing at best– drug dealers and homeless folk surrounded me as I exited the bus. I was offered weed, asked for hot food, and finally told by the police that I couldn’t stay outside because I am a “lone white female” and that this was not a place for me to stand. I asked if I could go to the deli across the street and was instructed not to. It was 4:45pm. Inside people are everywhere — a woman named Ms Louis spoke to me for about 45 minutes — somehow she knew I could help her prep for a job interview as a nursing assistant. I hope she gets that job!
A guy named Ray hit on me from Atlanta til he took a row for himself and a nap. He was drinking port wine. We met on the earlier bus on our way into Atlanta — on this first ride, he was mostly quiet and when the bus driver came in to count heads Ray said, “I’m number 14. I don’t know why I wanted to know what number I was but I’m happy it’s 14. Whether it’s 14 years old or 2014, it was a different era.”
Ray got to go to the deli across the street.
Another tidbit from the road in April 2018– the lying seems at an all-time high. Women picking up pieces of one another’s stories and appropriating them within seconds — Ray’s biography changed by the bus. When waiting to board the last bus, a woman came in and said she was going to give away half her cigarette since she was worried about taking too long and that so many swarms of homeless tried to grab it from her she threw it away instead.
And now, it’s time to sleep on another bus. This time with legs & arms stretched!