Greyhound

Seven hours into the journey, the romance of the Greyhound bus and the American highway had long been replaced by a deep hatred of my fellow man.  I sunk lower into my seat and stared into the darkness beyond the window, trying to ignore the human zoo around me.  Opposite me, a couple sucked on each others’ faces as if stuck together with superglue.  The snowboarder behind with the headphones on continued to kick my seat at ten second intervals and the middle aged man in front of me mumbled to himself; all of which was beginning to draw heavily on my lifetime allowance of goodwill to others.  ‘Sammy the Psychopath’, as I had named him, left at Sacremento.  As he had reminded us every thirty seconds since San Francisco, as he’d walked up and down the aisle, he’d forgotten his medication and it was with some relief that I watched him wander downtown in search of pharmaceutical salvation.

‘Next stop Truckee’ announced the driver in a friendly but disinterested way.  No-one would get off here.  We were all heading for Tahoe where we would attempt to lose ourself in one diversion or another; skiers and snowboarders on the slopes of Heavenly and those of a more addictive nature in the casinos on the Nevada side of the State line.  The bus stopped and the latest batch of human rejects shuffled their way aboard.  I picked up my book in an attempt to avoid contact but seats were filling fast and my hopes for any kind of personal space were disappearing.

‘Can I join you?’ came a voice from somewhere inside a shapeless blue hoodie as it settled down in the seat beside me without waiting for a response.

‘Please do.’ I replied though more out of politeness than necessity, eager to retreat back into my book.

‘Hi, my name’s Julia’ as the top came down to reveal Californian bleach blonde hair and whitened teeth.

I put my book down.  Perhaps the human zoo had something to offer, after all?

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