Buses: Part 3

Essay by spoonman419High School, 11th grade July 2004

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Watching from afar, I obsessed. Finally, around eleven, his bus came. He and his posse got on; relieved no doubt that this time it was the right bus.

The boredom sunk in, deeper now, to the bone. A tall, muscular man with a noticeable scar on his neck walked my way, and my focus changed again. As he approached, an elderly drunk black man wearing an old naval uniform, a half gallon hat with strings hanging from it and no shoes, who sat a few seats to my side, yelled something inaudible at him. The muscular man responded with something equally meaningless, and sat down. He had an odd way about him, could have been the way he carried himself, I'm not sure, but it made me extremely uncomfortable. As I hoped to myself that he wouldn't initiate a conversation, he spoke, and we talked for a bit. Not too far along I ran out of things I felt appropriate to ask him.

I did find out though, that he was on his way back home from the war in Afghanistan to his wife in Sacramento. The conversation was lethally awkward, as are most conversations held between strangers. Talking to random people entails having something you want to say to anyone and everyone. Unfortunately for Jon, I don't.

Soon enough after the silence began, a skinny young brunette holding a pad and pencil walked up to my particular line of benches and started asking the old drunk a few seats left of me questions. She was a writer for the greyhound newsletter, and was looking for stories to put in her next article. It turns out that the drunk wearing the naval uniform, oddly enough, used to be in the military. Jon heard this, and as the drunk started his...