Driving Miss McCauley
Every time-I mean every time I get on the Greyhound out of Kansas City I cannot help but question where the bus is “really going”-as if the four people I asked at the station previously had been lying to me all along. “Yes, this is the Springfield bus ma’am,” (Ma’am? Is that just because I was acting like an uptight 40-year-old hag?) is what their mouths say-but I am always wary of the lack of focus in their eyes.
I do not drive. There is no great surprise then, that I know nothing of geography, my immediate surroundings, how the long roads with lots of lanes and few traffic signals work, (highways I think?) let alone the difference of one “exit” and the next.
Somewhere-about an hour in, when billboards no longer seem “normal” and the bus driver is on his 3rd personal cell phone call, a panicky feeling washes over me and I am CERTAIN the man has no idea where he should be going. I eye him suspiciously, double check my ticket stub and try to figure out who I will call when I end up in St. Louis or Boise because this asshole told me incorrectly that this shit box on wheels was my bus.
When I have at least three people in mind to haul ass to Bumbleturd Iowa with the sole intention to save me from truck stop prostitution and take me home, after I have calculated how long it will be until I run out of money, and when I tally how useful one bag full of mirsh-mashed clothes will be in places like Chattanooga or Cheyenne, (because in my jankety mind this bus goes crazy distances like that) I finally get the nerve to ask the driver where the bus is ACTUALLY GOING.
Before I plan my questioning, I plan how I will react to his disgust at my distrust… I imagine him saying “I drive this bus back and forth to places FOR A LIVING…and you think that I AM WRONG?” To which I will respectfully explain that we all make mistakes (but I usually average less mistakes than the general population-therefore you can drop the attitude…buddy) and when I am at work I don’t get uppity when someone questions my actions (false.)
By the time my daydream argument with “Gary” the bus driver is getting ugly and unnecessarily personal-just when I am certain I will end up abandoned on the side of the road, in the cold, next to a sex offender-halfway-house-mobile-home-park, somewhere in rural Mississippi…(GASP) – I see the Warrensburg, Missouri stop, the one we make every time I have ever ridden on this fucking bus route. (!)
My heart stops pounding and the creepy vein in my neck burrows its way back into my body. I see the trashy gum-smacking girl reunite with her hillbilly boyfriend. Happy to resume her part time job at Sonic, I’m sure. So I settle in, heart warmed and reassured that Gary was on the right track from the very beginning.