Destination D.C. 2 of 2

This story is continued from the previous post on Saturday June 25th. 

After some uncountable butt-numbing hours, it reached a point when I lost my sense of direction. I could no longer tell when we were turning, going forward, or stopping – for all I knew the bus was driving backwards.   
“’Ey my leetle frrend, doo yoou need anythiing? Waant mee to get yoou suumthiing? A cookiee?” Standing in front of me was Roger, we were at a rest stop. Roger had dark features and though usually this made a person intimidating, he was oddly cartoonish. There was an Elvis Presley-esque wave on top of his head, he had a poorly-hidden uni-brow, and a nose that tempted a “flick-me” prank. I smiled and faked a yawn, hoping he would get it that I was not up for conversation or food,
            “Umm, no thanks I’m fine.”
            “I offered her a piece of candy and she didn’t want that either” blurted the woman from across the aisle. Her voice harbored a hint of opportunity, as if to remind me the offer still stood and always would. Roger gave me a shrug and walked back to the front of the bus. Soon, the odor of America’s obesity crisis filled every nook of our oddly shared space. The oils and fats of literal “drive thru” meals were so thick, I was confident any leftover could be wrung from the grease stained packages and used to run the bus itself.
Outside my window it always looked like a carefully edited snapshot copy-pasted over and over again, making it impossible to tell which state we were in. The bus always moved too quickly before I could catch the intersection of the sallow light from anorexic highway lampposts, and the bold white lettering of roadside signs. Although my body has become fond of ninety-degree upright sitting, never had my frame wanted so desperately to collapse – to neatly fold over on itself like a wooden Jacobs Ladder. But it wasn’t allowable. As I slumped in my seat my spine screamed thanks of gratitude, and my shoulders were ready to slide off into their own adventure, yet my brain immediately recalled them to sharp attention.
            I wanted to remember this. Actually I needed to, if only for the simple fact that I had not packed a camera. I was not interested in remembering every detail of the groundbreaking process I endured to get on the bus. As the bus plunged down the highway, flashes of the future appeared between the gaps of each highway lamppost. It was clear that there would be many more groundbreaking processes I would endure; this was just proof that I could. It occurred to me that I wanted only this piece of my life. Not just in the form of memories, but I needed to physically hold the weight of the fourteen hours in a bus. I wanted to be sure the wheels that churned beneath me were not there just to play some exhausted lullaby. While the rest of my companions were fast asleep, the kid a few rows up from me stared determinedly out the window; the Teenage Mutant-Ninja Turtles pillow was now tucked away under the seat.

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