Destination D.C. 1 of 2

In a post 2 weeks ago I wrote about the time I "ran away" from home. If you missed that one you can read it hereSome of my readers wanted to know what my bus ride over to D.C. was like and so I share it below. 

In front of me was a guy who looked like a crash test dummy after a rear end car smash. The skin on his face seemed sealed to the back of the seat in front of him, a trickle of drool staked out a southward path across a terrain of ripped leather covering, and his limbs had been sent helter-skelter by the violent snore of a deep sleep.
“Welcome aboard ladies and jeyntlemen to Peeter Paan baas naambur eighteeen siixty seyven. My nem iiss RRRoger and I am driver for thee eev’ning. Let me go through sum rules of thee baas….” The accent that tried to cram an entire octave of sounds into each word said his name was anything but Roger. Oddly the foreign lilt settled my nerves a bit, it seemed conflicted with itself – struggling with what it should sound like and what it wanted to sound like. 
“…Now thees baas ees eequeepped with lavatory, but pleeease I beg of yoou ladies and gentlemen, pleeease yoose onlyyy for eemurgency! And reemembur to flush or we have major bad problem -”
“It’ll smell like stinky cheese!” Barged a voice from the back; every random group of people has one, that socially awkward and loud character. She was directly across the aisle from me.
“Whaaaat diid you say m’am?” Roger asked over the loudspeaker.
“I said it’ll smell like stinky cheese!” She blared again, as though she were talking to a group of unruly preteens ripe with B.O. from P.E. class. 
 She gnashed mercilessly away at pieces of caramel she had offered me hours before,
            “Hey!” Her voice had struck the odd ice-breaker less atmosphere a bit too harshly. I turned from the window, annoyed that someone disrupted my meticulous stare at South Station. I was trying to commit it to memory: every Roman column, and each window pane nearly erased by years of untamed congestion from Boston traffic; even that guy who stood outside selling pretzels from his cart, his skin as weather-worn as an old fisherman’s raincoat. The rounded structure was like a well-respected grandpa whose tough-love grumblings you longed for when gone. After merely twenty-minutes into the trip, I discovered I did.
            “D’ya wanna piece o’ caramel?” She held out a wrapper the same metallic gold as the Chinese wind chime that hung by our deck, the sight made my stomach ache. My eyes skittishly scanned the other passengers, no other heads turned. Why should they? We were only a group of strangers who happened to be traveling together. Clearly, the air we shared for the next fourteen hours was a pathetic microcosm in respect to our eventual destinations. Some of them I imagined were headed home; I figured those were the ones who wore tourist targeted Boston or Harvard hoodies. Others I imagined were running away, like that kid whose fingers found no comfort as they clutched at a pillow enshrined with Teenage Mutant-Ninja Turtles. I had hoped the kid would sit next to me.
            “No thanks” I replied coolly. I tried to hide the fact that I was obviously a ‘First-Time Passenger,’ as so embarrassingly engraved in red on my e-ticket. 
            “Fine, suit yourself” her voice humbled, as if she had been sure I would eagerly take the caramel. Perhaps if we had shared that mystifying realm of the ‘back of the bus’ for a couple more hours; maybe I would have taken the piece of candy.

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