By Tenzin McGrupp © 2006
The bus station.
It looked new but the inhabitants were always the same. The bus stations around America featured some of the lowest forms of wayward travelers. These were folks who couldn't afford plane or train fare. You wondered how they scratched together enough cash to pay for the Greyhound fare. Even with the influx of gamblers from New York and Philadelphia catching buses back to those cities, there were plenty of sullen faces on the rest of the people who sat silently in the brightly lit terminal. A few rows were crowded by street people bundled up in layers of clothing. They smelled like a combination of three-day old urine and rotten eggs as the aroma of depravity made me nauseous for the entire fifteen minutes I sat and waited for my Greyhound bus bound for NYC to arrive. I couldn't withstand the smell anymore and went outside to wait.
The bus showed up on time and I sat next to an old lady who brought ear plugs with her. She didn't want to have to listen to the Russian guys in the back bitch and moan about their bad beats for two hours straight. Plus the guy on his cell phone two rows ahead of us blew off the bus driver's warning to keep all phone conversations brief and polluted the air recanting his last 48 hours as he slowly lost his entire paycheck at the tables.
I listened to my iPod and zoned out. I'd wake up every fifteen minutes and find myself staring out at the window watching the landscape of the Garden State Parkway whoosh by. Two portly passengers diagonally across from me cuddled most of the ride. She looked like a 300-pound version of Whoopi Goldberg with six-inch nails colored in seven shades of acrylic paint. She had her hands down her boyfriend's pants. He looked like Fidel Castro minus the cigar and hat.
Fat chicks jerking off guys on the NJ Turnpike.
It was Groundhog Day and I'd kill myself if I got stuck seeing that gruesome scene everyday for the rest of my life. I tolerated it once because as much as it sickens me to death, I have a morbid curiosity of the psychology behind explicit and random displays of sex acts in public places. It's one thing to see a guy get his rocks off on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras. It's something totally different to see a guy get a beejer sitting in row 10 on a Greyhound.
Tenzin McGrupp is a writer from New York City.