Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The wheels on the bus...part 2.

I am sitting on the cold concrete floor, back against a long brick wall waiting for the call to get on a bus that will take me to San Jose, my final destination. A guy in his mid-twenties sits down next to me. He has about a dozen visible tattoos and a pierced septum. We’re both staring off into space.

A man walks up and asks, “Can you watch my bag for a minute?”

I nod and wonder if I just look trustworthy or too tired to steal anything. Shortly after a second man asks the same thing, and I nod again. Then another and another.

The next thing I know, the two if us sitting against the wall are surrounded by a semi-circle of luggage that we have been recruited to watch. I turn to my wall-mate and ask, “Do you have any idea of whose bag belongs to who?”

“Nope.”, he says and chuckles. After a minute he says, “Man, I hope the next bus comes soon, I am exhausted.”

“Me too”, I say, “there was a dude on the bus that freaked me out that I couldn’t sleep.”

“Wait, did he have one really jacked up eye?”

“YES!”, I yell.

“Ok, that’s it. For the rest of this trip we are sitting across from each other. Deal?”, he puts out his hand which I grab and shake. Shortly after the bus pulls in and we all board. I sit across from my bus partner and Hobo-Man comes down the aisle and glares at us. We stare him down, he flinches first and walks back toward the front of the bus and finds a seat up there. We look at each other and grin and nod- together we have conquered our monster of the bus.

We sleep most of the ride back, but both wake up and chat the last 45 minutes of the trip. He makes jewelry out of chainmail and he’s out to visit the Renaissance Faires in California to sell his wares. When we finally arrive, the first person waiting by the bus is a girl with about a dozen tattoos. I turn around to see them in a minute-long embrace, when he opens his eyes I give him a short wave. Still entwined in his hug, he give a short wave back and then closes his eyes while lifting the girl off her feet and spinning her.

I’ve always felt that I would run into my ally again someday. If we traded names, it was lost and forgotten in the fog of sleep deprivation. In fact, some of the details may be a bit off since I was in a half-dream state. (However, I remember him telling me a story of someone that came into his martial arts school and challenged people even though he only got his training from watching cheesy kung-fu movies. How he would jump around like a monkey.)

Sir, if you read this, drop me a note, I’d love to hear the story of what happened after that fork in the road when we parted ways. I hope your time in California was successful and free of spooky hobos.

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