Greyhound

We soar out along the edge of the crystalline bay, palm trees flailing in the seawater breeze.  The girl sitting across from me is telling me about how happy and carefree she is, how she’s heading to New Mexico to visit her girlfriend of one month, without whom she has no reason to live, which makes it true love.  “I just packed up everything I own and I’m heading out there for this girl,” she tells me.  At a rest stop, I stand on a curb watching the sun fracture upon the world.  “How can you be so angry after being so happy a moment before,” she yells, standing between me and the sunset.  She rants, agitated, about how she doesn’t ask for much, she just doesn’t want her girlfriend talking to this other girl, because she’s up to no good.  Perhaps you care so much because you love her, I offer, and maybe your love runs much deeper than your jealousy.  She seems momentarily relieved and hastily agrees, nodding vigorously and telling me how she has already proposed.  Then she is sobbing into the phone as we drive into the blackening night, saying over and over again, “but I love you.”  She disappears into the bathroom, wailing.  At the next rest stop, when I return from the gas station bathroom, she is lying on the pavement outside the bus in a puddle of vomit.  The paramedics are squinting at the label of an empty pill bottle.  Droplets of rain on the bus windows flash red and blue.  “I want to die,” she wails.  “I want to die.  I want to die.”  “Come on, no you don’t,” ventures one of the cops hesitantly.  “I WANT TO DIE!”  She shrieks before folding in half retching again.  I’m not sure what about this situation appears unambiguous to the officer, because I suspect it’s probably safe to assume she means it if someone makes such a declaration after taking thirty doses of Vicodin.  But I do wonder why they are asking for her ID rather than taking her to a hospital.  The paramedics fiddle with the stretcher and the cops grill the girl with questions about her psychiatric history until she retches herself into an unresponsive stupor.  When we hit the road again, the bus driver apologizes for the delay.

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One Response to Greyhound

  1. Geoff O'Keeffe says:

    Dave,
    I met you last year downtown Boulder. You were enjoying coffee and we shared a cigarette outside a place on West Pearl Street. I have followed your blog since and have appreciated your writing and experiences, albeit vicariously. I’ve had a couple pieces published and would be happy to send along if you share email address.
    Travel wisely
    Geoff O’Keeffe

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