Sunday, July 8, 2012
Ridin' The Dog
There is nothing that levels the cultural playing field as much as these two things:
1. "Airing" your dirty laundry at a laundromat
2. Riding a Greyhound Bus.
I've only had the pleasure of two such Greyhound trips.
The first, in the early 80's, I rode down from Portland to Modesto California. From there I hitchhiked south to Delhi to try and find a girlfriend who wanted to get back to Portland. On the trip I took a small backpack with a few essentials. I never let it out of my sight, and one of the passengers accused me of being a drug mule.
After hitching to Delhi I walked aimlessly around town until I found my girlfriends house, mission accomplished.
The next trip was when I had first moved up to our current undisclosed island hideout and had to get back to Portland to bring back a pickup truck.
I walked on to the Ferry Boat, took three county busses and made it to the Greyhound station right as the bus for Portland was departing.
Of course, they call these rides "The milk run".
The damned bus stops at every Podunk whistle-stop on the way, and it drags on and on.
As it turns out, I had a two-hour lay-over in Seattle, and the bus station is in your typical run-down concrete hellhole.
Two fucking hours...
So I walked out and saw three baggage handlers laughing and chatting. Appearing as the Little Country Mouse, I approached them and asked where a guy could get a decent sandwich and a Beer.
The one woman on the crew faced me and sternly cautioned that nobody who was drinking alcohol would be allowed on the bus, so she couldn't tell me where to find a Tavern or Bar.
But the very helpful man that was working with her pulled me over to him and told me with great confidence to go out the gate and take a right. He said go down two blocks and on the right is the place I was looking for. He even said "Go to the side door; they'll take care of you".
Well, I thanked him for the information, and left the gate as they all laughed their asses off in the noisy background.
So I'm walking down a dirty urban street past the station- back pack, boots, and flannel. Sure enough there's a Bar right where the guy said it would be. But something was a little off...
As I stood outside thinking about a cold Beer, a street person approached me like the typical "mark" that I was. I clearly established distance from the guy as he was up to no good.
"Hey man, wanna smoke some weed?"
"Whatcha doing standing outside this Bar?"
"The guy at the Greyhound station said I could get a Beer and a sandwich here"
"Ha-ha-ha-ha! He told you that? Man, this is a Gay Bar!"