Friday, August 21, 2009

Notes from the Greyhound bus trip from Atlanta to California

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

-Uraeus and I left Atlanta at 5:30am
-We arrived in Birmingham at 9:00am
-The Birmingham station was soooo clean.
-I'm glad I'm going across the country slowly with Uraeus.

-11:20am We arrived in Meridian, Mississippi and stopped at the Union Station.
-The trees have been with us the whole time. Plenty of trees. Green. Tall. Sheltering. Shading. Holding. Loving.
-I packed snacks before I left and we just bought more.
-Uraues looked out of the window and said, "Mom, look, there is some artwork. The trees."

-1:05pm We arrived in Jackson, Mississippi.

-2:10pm We crossed the Mississippi River and entered Louisiana.

-2:20pm I am visualizing my life. Painting murals.

-3:15pm We stopped in Monroe, Louisiana.

-I am sitting in front of a black man in his early sixties dressed southern black man sharp (hat, suit, doing too much for a Greyhound trip.) A white woman maybe a few years younger than he sat next to him and got all in his business, which he was a bit slow to reveal at first, but soon gave in.

Woman* Where are you going?
Man* Dallas.
Woman* You married?
Man* Naw, I aint got no wife.
Woman* What happened?
Man* I just aint got no wife.
Woman* Got any kids?
Man* Yep. Six.
Woman* They live with you?
Man* No. I'm homeless.
Woman* Then where do you sleep?
Man* Under a bridge.
Woman* You don't look homeless. You look like a Philadelphia lawyer.
(They laugh. I do too.)

Uraeus and I are playing Uno and he calls me to go. I'm more involved in the conversation behind me apparantly.

Woman* How do you make your money?
Man* I'll show you. (He pulled out some cards with writing on them and what looked like a Bible. I can't tell.)
Woman* And they pay you?
Man* Yeah.
Woman* Do you always sleep under a bridge?
Man* Naw, sometimes I go to the Salvation Army, but not a lot 'cause I can't stand a lotta fightin' adn auguin'.
Woman* You don't like the orgin?
Man* No. Auguin'.
Woman* Ag-u-in?
Man* Arguing.

-4:50pm We stopped at Grambling. It was good to see the campus again. We are headed to Shreveport. Uraeus and I need to eat some real food and get some rest. We are scheduled to be in L. A. at 5:00am. My mother is picking us up then we're heading to Palmdale, then to the wake, then the funeral on Saturday.

-5:00pm We just passed Homer, Louisiana. I thought about Bettye because she's from there. I need to hurry and post that "conversation."

-6:00pm We arrived in Shreveport. It's beautiful. Definetely the best bus station.

-7:27pm We arrived in Marshall, Texas.

-7:39pm I am present to being connected to nature. On a plane I wouuld have been asleep before take off, ignored the movie (if one was offered) and woke up in time for orange juice (no ice please). The bus is prayer time, meditation time, time to get mind and spirit straight for what's ahead, for what's right now, in the moment. On a plane I would have flown over the very every of Phills Pig Parts, of teh gas station that dubs as a Greyhound Station where you pay for milk, gas, country fried chicken and check in for your bus at the same counter.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

-12:30am Left downtown Dallas, Texas.

-7:05am Somewhere in the land of Texas. Two Boarder Patrol officers came on the bus. There was a guy from Brazil they pulled off the bus. He took off running. They caught him. I hoped he would get away. But no.

-8:55am Somewhere in Texas. Desert. Telephone poles and wires. One or two other vehicles on the road. Big pale blue sky with a few soft white clouds dispersed. Everyone on the bus is quiet. Even the lady behind me who seems to know a lot about everything and is not shy about sharing her wisdom. Riding in this silence this long is an easy way to get to know what's really on my mind. Uraeus is resting adn I'm focused on my thoughts. Focusing on what I want to create in my world. Reflecting on the year. The years. Thinking about turning forty soon. Giving up the need to please at my expense.

-9:30am We stopped in Pecos, Texas.

-11:17am We stopped somewhere in Texas. Two hours from El Paso.
-I am thinking about painting murals in hospitals, nursary schools, doctor's offices.
-Living my life like it's golden.
-If my life is a blank canvas, what am I filling it with?
a. art
b. poetry
c. stories
d. family
e. friends
-More details on what that looks like to come.

-11:31am We are leaving Van Horn, Texas. The lady across from me is writing in her journal. I wonder what she is writing.

-11:45am The guy two seats ahead of me is brushing his teeth. I'm on a bus remember.

-1:05pm I'm waiting in El Paso, Texas. the bus doesn't leave until 1:45pm. This is my second day taking the medication the doctor at Grady perscribed. I didn't notice anything yesterday but today, about ten minutes ago I had to rush to the restroom because it felt like I started bleeding again. I could feel a wet substance on my body and clothes. When I got to the restroom I found that the substance was clear. When I took the medication I also took two Tylonol PM pills. Maybe that had something to do with it. I don't know.

-1:40pm I'm ready to get back on teh bus but they haven't called for us yet. I'm sleepy and hungry for some real food. I've been eating junk and I can feel it. I brought $100 for the bus trip and we're doing good on money, can't find anything else besides junk to eat though.

-2:20pm El Paso. The black driver is having a conversation with a white passenger about why he (the driver) doesn't need to learn Spanish.

Driver* This is America. It's their responsibility to learn English.
Passenger* But if we learned to speak Spanish it would help the communication. When I was growing up here in El Paso, we had to take Spanish from the first to the sixth grade.
Driver* (shaking his head) This is America. What they gon do when they go to the east coast? I'm too old to learn. Too old.

-2:25pm We are still in El Paso. We are running about thirty minutes late. I think we're leaving now. I haven't had a glass of wine since Chicago. Merlot and a fat burrito would be nice.

The driver is on the microphone saying, "Some of you speak English and act like you don't. Not knowing how to speak doesn't excuse you from the rules."

-8:00pm Mr. Bus Driver is really doing too much. There are two Mexican women speaking Spanish. Not too loudly. Not to me anyway. He just got on his microphone and said, "You two females, as you can see, it's almost night so we're going into a night time schedule. If you keep it up, I'm going to have to terminate all conversation." Yeah right. Just drive the bus, dude.

-10:30pm We are in Phoenix and should be here for forty minutes. We are running an hour behind schedule so we are now expected to be in L. A. at 6am. This trip has belssed me to appreciate my own silence. My own mouth closed. Why am I speaking so much anyway when nature has so much to say?

-Is it me, or is Anderson Cooper, the CNN guy, really, really handsome or what?

-10:50pm We are boarding the bus again. Good.

-5:15am We arrived at the Los Angeles bus station. Gotta get this medication checked out. I'm soaked. Glad to be in Cali.

1 comment:

  1. Wish I could have seen it, I know it was great

    Shanda Marshall