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Last updateTue, 06 Aug 2013 2am

Wednesday, 28 December 2011 19:29


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I’m standing past the yellow line you’re not supposed to be past, smoking a cigarette in the no smoking area, while stale trash from people who don’t care skids past my feet and the feet of other people who do care, these concerned people who stare at me while I stare back, wondering what their fucking problem is.

My Lucky is withered down to the filter now, a paraplegic, jaundiced body of dark yellow underneath a shag of gray hair that cultivates with each puff, gets afflicted with mange with each tap. I search for a place to discard the useless shard of cotton that’s supposed to help protect my precious lungs, and this is when I realize I’m not where I’m supposed to be. The unfortunate people who work for the bus station that have nothing better to do never said a word to me so I could rudely ask them if they had anything better to do. This is why people are staring at me. They assume I’m some anarchist who positioned myself here with the intention of mocking their conformity, when all the while I’m just a guy who didn’t realize I was past the damn yellow line. Forget the fact that I would have smoked there anyway.

I’m somewhere between Killeen and Syracuse, maybe Memphis. Maybe Cleveland. I don’t really care. At each juncture they abandon me in favor of similar as-close-to-bums-as-you-can-get-without-taking-the-name people, leaving me momentarily stranded in the company of lunatics and parole violators who I’m certain are on the verge of slitting my throat any second, who are no doubt thinking the same thing about me. I’m stranded momentarily with crazy people who thrust slurs of obscenities at everyone and are in critical need of an exorcist. I know Greyhound has coupons for shit like that, for exorcisms, but I can never seem to find myself at a participating Greyhound terminal.


I’m on one of the giant shit-carts now, on some isolated freeway in Elvis-country, on a seat that’s seen more nasty asses than a low-budget porn caster, hoping the driver has a set of nuts and will stop all of a sudden to kick somebody off, propelling them out into Nowhere, all in the name of setting an example. I guess the second part of my hope is that somebody will do something to warrant such an act. Maybe I can even instigate someone into doing something irrational, into doing something to appease my unorthodox craving. Picture me persuading some random voyager to start a fight with some other Joe while we’re all trapped inside a cramped room going 65 miles an hour, picture me facilitating this guy getting 86ed. Imagine that, the bus skidding to a squealing halt right in the middle of the freeway, passengers and all their shit suddenly inspired to all taste-test the windshield at the same time, being insensitively interrupted by seatbacks, everything settling in a different spot from where it started, the screech of the doors opening and then

“Get the fuck off my bus.”

some yahoo being puked out like too much tequila. Yeah, I would love to see something like that.

I’m in the stall now, gazing down into the shit-filled abyss that sometimes gets jostled hard enough to expel vile splashes out onto your pleated khakis while your dick is streaming its own vile right back. I heard about how on some bus somewhere in Colorado [I don’t think it was a Greyhound], someone had slain their baby by stuffing it down into that hole, the baby not being found until the next time that maelstrom of shit and piss was being drained. Picturing a baby drowning down there is not my idea of a good time, so I avert my concentration to something else; sickly, the only thing I can think of is a tiny Beluga whale in captivity.

Returning to my seat, I think about how I could be sitting on someone’s cum stain. Viewing things objectively, the odds are more in the cum stain’s favor than in the impossibility of its existence. I think about what else might have been expelled on my seat, what gift some stranger has kindly left behind. Looking around me, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to discover a juicy condom curled and drooling on the floor. I see M&Ms. Peanut ones. I see a Dr. Pepper bottle. Empty. I see someone with their shoes off, bare feet coming into contact with the floor.

Just across from me, an elderly lady with wispy silver hair and thousands of grooves in her face from years of sun and grinning [maybe even the administration of countless blowjobs], she smiles at me. Yeah, it’s not my seat with the leftover semen, it’s hers.

I smile back.

I can hear faint Metallica propagating from a set of Sony headphones two seats ahead. Across and one seat up, the person had activated the tiny anti-boredom beacon in response to the contiguous darkness, a rescue beam that shined down onto a sea of interesting pages, a novel.

I have no novel. I have no Discman.

I have a hemorrhoid.

The fucking thing doesn’t want to leave, so I’m taking it to Syracuse. I have no idea what’s in Syracuse, but I’ll probably hate it. I hate Seattle. I hate Cheyenne. Charlotte. Los Angeles. LA, with its endless sea of concrete grass, perfect for bouncing your head off of at a 6 or 8 story running start. I hate Everywhere.

There’s an Indian guy across the aisle from me prying scabs from his skin with cracked fingernails, thick crescents of black on the tips where dirt has colonized, slow-motion picks; think I can hear it. His lips are chapped white and he parts them once to show the teeth they’re wrapped around, dark and swarming. I hate this bus.

I glance back and another light is on, illuminating the New York Times crossword puzzle. Others are sleeping. I can think of places I’d rather be than here, right here. In jail. Charlotte. LA. This is when I realize I can’t stand it any longer. This is when I realize I’m better than jizz-soaked seats and drowning children.

There is more to life than chasing an invisible destiny across a world that has ceased to exist. It takes a while to realize the future is smeared dark by those who spread false hope. It takes a while to see that you can’t see. For some, it doesn’t take as long. Some, they will never see. Still others need to be shown. And this is where I realize I’ve got to be that guy. I’ve got to deliver the message, to be the message. The world is a network of murky dreams that feeds off itself like writhing, cannibal maggots; peace of mind is nothing but a scam. Peace is nothing but the end of hope. If you have peace, there is nothing left to hope for. Without a second thought, I stand and herd myself down the trail toward the front of the bus. I pass the sleepers, the listeners, the readers, the thinkers. The clouded. I make it to the front, to another line I’m not supposed to cross. The speedometer says that yes, we are going 65. The driver is aware of my presence, but he still safely pilots the vehicle, his hands wrapped around the gargantuan steering wheel that’s oriented horizontally instead of vertically. We’re still in Elvis-country. The perforated white lines are whipping past, like all the bugs we can’t see until they explode on the glass. I think about the people, how comfortable most of them seem. Then I figure, the time is now. This instant. I reach out and pull the lever which causes the doors to screech open, which creates a miniature hurricane that momentarily—something I did not take into consideration—disturbs these tranquil people. But I don’t intend for the bus to stop, don’t want it to. Before the driver can persuade me otherwise, I hang one foot out the opening, then the other, letting go of everything, the ground

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Dan Donche

Dan Donche divides his time, sometimes unsuccessfully, between writing, music, and mma. He lives out of a giant-yet-comfortable backpack, and can be found on Twitter (@dandonche) and the Velvet.

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