People look at you like you’re crazy or they’re sorry for you when they hear you are taking a Greyhound. I don’t see what the big deal is. There is the increased likelihood of being on board with a full on maniac who smells bad and is making strange sounds but for the most part it’s just folks who haven’t got the money for a plane ticket, are headed somewhere with no airport, or are at the level of being a drifter that they need to take a mode of transportation that doesn’t require a lot of identification or scrutiny. I find it relaxing.
I’m not afraid of flying. Nobody is. They’re afraid of crashing. I’m not afraid of that either, most of the time. Although I’d prefer we didn’t. I do severely dislike the entire process of going through an airport and boarding a plane though. Also getting off of the plane and out of the airport is a pain in the ass. And watching jackass after jackass try to cram their ridiculously oversized roller bag into an overhead bin. I lose what little faith I have in humanity when I watch how they handle luggage. How much does anyone need to bring on a trip? People pack more shit than what most folks on the planet own for a one week vacation. How is that relaxing? I can go indefinitely with just a back pack and I’ll still feel like I’ve got unnecessary items with me. Aside from my hatred of bulky bags there’s the litany of shit you have to go through just to get to the gate. Take of your shoes, your belt, take out your laptop, get in the Total Recall tube, put your bag through the x-ray, get called over to extra security because the TSA is scared of your digital recorder, put your shoes on while people act as though you’re slowing down the process even though it was their stupid idea to have everyone take them off in the first place.Meanwhile, getting on a Greyhound is a breeze. You can show up five minutes before departure and walk right on.
I suppose that means somebody could bring a weapon on board and cause a big problem but you hardly hear about that. Probably because nobody would care if you hijacked a Greyhound. If you find yourself trying to takeover or reek havoc on a Greyhound bus for attention or demands you’ll end up making a statement that is widely ignored. Society doesn’t give a shit about the people on Greyhound. That’s how you end up on one. And those are the kind of people I like, at least in theory, and usually in practice.
The redeye bus out of Minneapolis was better than every redeye flight I’ve been on. Plenty of room, everyone quiet and relaxed, just trying to get to Milwaukee. Occasionally a baby would cry but even that is much less grating of a sound when it isn’t happening on an airplane. The hum of the road underneath the tires is infinitely more soothing than the constant dull roar of jet engines. White lines on the road slide past the window while blinking lights occasionally dot the sky just above the horizon. I put on Bob Seger’s “Turn The Page” and pretend it’s my tour bus. I suppose I don’t really pretend. Tonight it is my tour bus and I’m more than willing to share with anybody who can come up with nineteen dollars and ninety-five cents. I drift off to sleep and wake up in Milwaukee.