This was not a complete waste, as I had many adventures in the high sierras that are not for these pages. All I will say is that my experiences in those small towns inspired some short story ideas, some of which may be premiered on this site if the spirit so moves me.
The next death in the family was my ipod. Fitting, since now that I could make ample use of it while riding the bus, it must be inoperable. I can’t read on the bus because I get motion sick very easily. So all that time on the bus was dead time for me, but it wasn’t that bad. I saw some interesting people and once again discovered new smells and noises. These I could appreciate with a sense of novelty, because in the city my stop inevitably comes up in less than 45 minutes. This is not so long, or maybe it only seems so after that Greyhound ride where the intermingling scent of feces, rancid food and rotting flesh became more appealing than listening to the visibly pregnant teenage girl sitting next to me opine loudly about:
A) Her importance in the world and the comparative unimportance of everyone else,
B) The appeal of various baby names inspired by different Tool, Korn and Mudvayne songs,
C) The sexiness of her meth-addled boyfriend who had more metal in his body than there is in a brand new car (I know, that’s not saying much), and
D) How she couldn’t wait any longer to smoke a cigarette at the next stop.
I could only think of two things, and both were wishes. The first was a multi-part one: that through some inexplicable phenomenon the baby would come out ok despite the smoke, booze, drugs and youthful stupidity and that someone else would raise the child. The second was that I could just get off the damn bus right there and then and be in Portland. So I didn’t mind riding the bus in Portland; actually at times it was quite pleasant due to interactions with fellow passengers & plain old people watching. What was absolutely intolerable was the hour plus wait at times for the bus to come. Also frustrating was the fact that the busses stopped running two or three hours before last call. This is an outrage, and I am calling for the rest of my brethren – the public transportation-dependent alcoholics – to step up with me and protest this draconian policy…as soon as we figure out how to do something else as a group besides pontificate loudly about crocodiles and puke on our shoes.
The last thing that died on me was perhaps the most important and definitely the most relevant: my computer. Having circumambulated (today’s $10 word is courtesy of JD) around these various technological frustrations, I can only conclude that the machines are all operating in collusion, like in the Terminator. However, instead of plotting the nuclear destruction of humanity, they merely wish to bother us and take all our money sorta like Disney.
The revolution will not be televised, but that’s only because the damn TV is gonna break before it can be.