Get On The Bus
Madre Santisima. Today, I took the bus from Dallas to Austin. It reminded me of when I was a kid and my family would take the bus to visit my grandparents in Mexico. Fond memories; not necessarily good.
I got on the bus after spending several days in Dallas hanging out with some good friends and really doing nothing. My friends are doing well for themselves. The reason I mention this is because I suspect, at least in terms of privileges, my weekend was much different than that of most of the folks on the bus.
My bus took off at 10am. I paid for my ticket and ran to get in line. I made my way to the back as the long line snaked around a vending machine. The people looked tired. A couple of black folks, but mostly mexicanos. It turns out some were coming from Tennesse, Michigan, Oklahoma. There were soldiers on the bus headed to Killeen; Ft. Hood, I imagine.
The thing is, none of us really knew if we were lined up in the right place. Nobody at the bus station came to tell us. The employees weren't rude, but weren't helpful either. After a 30 minute delay, we started making our way on the bus. A guy in front of me listened to Norteño music on his headphones. A guy behind me talked to his friends about a subasta he missed. He buys cars, takes them to Mexico, then sells them. The guy next to me slept. We were crammed in like Sardines. Nobody smiled as we got on the bus. People kept a keen eye on their bags. A kid ran around with a snotty nose and a bag of Cheetos. A stranger helped him find his seat, called him mijo, and patted him on the head. I didn't get peanuts or a free drink.
I turned on my laptop as the bus took off and felt a bit weird. The guy sitting next to me and asked me how much it cost. I gave him an estimate. I started watching a movie and he watched too. Too bad I had my headphones on.
I took the bus because I wanted to save $70. The reality is that I could have easily bought a plane ticket. It would have been much easier and a helluva lot more comfortable. I was glad I took the bus. It wasn't very comfortable, but it was good to be back in a place with a group of folks a couple of years ago I couldn't NOT be a part of.
I thought of my sister's little kid. Will she ever have to take the bus? Probably not. Should she have to? Yup. I'm glad I took the bus. Do I want to do it again? Not if I don't have to.