Delaware, New York, and now Massachusetts down, only Maine to go. Do you have any idea how much public transportation I’ve taken in the past week and however many days? DO YOU?
One plane. One bus. New York subways and the MBTA.
Now I’m standing in line for yet another four-hour bus ride to the final leg of this 3,000 mile journey, to the farthest corner of east bumfuck USA.
At least I’m near the front of the line, though that journey didn’t come without much trial and tribulation. I’ll try to explain the utter fear that I felt living on the edge of life today.
First of all, you’ve gotta understand the absolute cutthroat nature of waiting in line for a Maine bound bus in South Station. For SOME reason there is always a line and it is always ridiculously long. People will get there over an hour early just to sit on the floor and wait.
Then there are those people who walk around asking if this is the bus to Maine, looking terrified when you answer yep, to the back of the line you go!
Seriously losers, you should have gotten here earlier. They don’t know any better, but I don’t feel bad for them. It’s a cruel world out there. I may young but I’ve been hardened by my years of public transportation between Bangor and Boston, let me tell you. I’ve seen things you can only imagine.
With a bit of nifty planning ahead, I happened to arrive early. Not quite sit on the floor at the front of the line early, but all in all, I was pretty pleased with my timing.
Then I was faced with the question that plagues all travelers: Should I pee first?
It wasn’t even a question, since my bladder was doomed from the moment the thought of pee entered my mind. What if I have to go in ten minutes? I have a pretty good spot right now. I can’t risk losing it. What if I have to go ON THE BUS? There’s a bathroom, but ew. There’s a good chance I’d just fall into the toilet and this I do not exaggerate. We would stop in Portland for a few minutes two hours into the trip. If I had to go, I could wait until then… or could I?
The questions were too much to bear. I took a risk. The line wasn’t long yet. I still had time. This was my moment to shine.
But oh god, what if the line for the women’s bathroom was too long? The odds just weren’t in my favor.
Or were they?
I took a chance. I dared to live, to dream. To imagine a world where the lines for ladies’ restrooms weren’t unreasonably long.
I dreamed a dream and that dream came true. It was glorious.
Yeah well, as victorious as I felt after that unnecessary purgin’ of the urine, the true test was yet to come. Would my decent spot in line still be waiting for me when I got back?
Oh who did I think I was? Oprah? Of course it wouldn’t! Those people are vicious. Ruthless. They line up in the blink of an eye. No one knows where they come from or when they’ll appear. Their very existences threaten my hope for a comfortable bus ride and I hate them.
I dreamed big with the hope of a new tomorrow for bathroom lines, but even I wouldn’t entertain the possibility of getting a seat to myself… unless…
Unless they got two buses.
With my heart pounding and my upper lip sweat in full throttle, I made my way back to the bus terminal. It would seem there’s a chance that I actually am Oprah, because I STILL HAD MY SPOT. No one else had gotten in line yet. I brushed off that upper lip sweat and marched up to reclaim my spot.
Basking in this new victory was short-lived.
This time the struggle was truly in the hands of fate, a.k.a. the bus driver. See, you really roll the dice when you decide to stand in the front of the line, because sometimes there are just SO MANY people waiting that they actually do bring two buses in. SOMETIMES those losers who happened to get to the terminal late actually get to pop on a nice empty bus with two seats all to themselves while the rest of us who got there early to choose the best possible seat situation have to actually share.
That fear was all too real as they counted us and herded us into separate lines. It was all I could do not to scream “WE AREN’T SHEEP,” but I refrained. The stakes were too high for that amateur shit.
Alright, well, the moral of the story is that they split us on to two buses, I got a seat to myself, and all’s well that ends well.
Yeah just kidding. To clarify, I’m not Oprah and good things do not happen to me.
I got off the bus in Portland for just a minute to empty my already empty bladder, you know, just in case, and some asswipe stole my double seated luxury space.
What the fucking fuck fuck fuck. Who does this guy think he is, chewing his free bag of pretzels and taking up space?
He’s reading a book that looks stupid and old. Like him. I bet it’s from the library.
Oh, and to top it all off, the driver is playing the same movie THAT JUST ENDED. Are you kidding me? What’s the point? Who does he think he is? Jesus? He does NOT have this kind of authority. I didn’t want to watch it the first time and I DON’T want to watch it the second.
Great, my pretzel chewing seat buddy’s sleeve is touching me. Oh my god. Stop it.
Now he’s eating some weird ass cracker chips in a Spiderman Ziploc bag. What the actual fuck. What sort of monster has fate stuck beside me?
You know, I really have been trying to be more tolerant. Being forced into metal tubes with people tends to do that, I guess. On the bus to Boston, the girl sitting next to me touched my leg with hers like it was no biggie. Which, um, first of all, IS a biggie. Like seriously, who just cozies up to a stranger on a bus? Right? After I suppressed those feelings of slight panic and serious ick, I was like you know, hey, it’s cool. After all, I was one of those losers who had to ask her to share her seat. The least I could do was not be totally repulsed by her presence.
She even fell asleep and I was kind of flattered she felt so comfortable with me, you know? She came dangerously close to taking a snooze on my shoulder, and after a bit of consideration, I decided I would have even been ok with that, too. Make no mistake though, if she’d drooled on me, I would have wiped it right back on her with her own hand and it would have really damaged our friendship.
So I think it’s clear that I’m really making strides with my public transportation space sharing. But this guy? Oh hell no. Like seriously dude, get your cracker eating, library book reading, creepy Prolethean self away from me.
Or at least don’t touch me with your fucking shirt sleeve.