Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hey, I *CAN* blog!

And so I will.

I have reached PA alive, but perhaps not so well. Parts of me that hurt that I'd forgotten I had...like my back, my arms, my legs. Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow.

The bus ride here was an adventure unto itself. It actually started days before, when I called Greyhound and spoke with disabled services to arrange for preferred seating. Hey, if I'm gonna carry the cane, I'm going to take advantage of various services made available to me. In this case, I was able to arrange to sit at the front of the bus...alone, most of the time. =P

So there I was, in the trailer, awaiting when Ray would drive me to the bus station. That time rolled around, I walked back to Ray's room...and found him asleep. I was almost immediately concerned. It was only 3:00 AM. Ray rarely, if ever, goes to bed at that time unless he's not feeling well. His was only a minor complaint, of a headache I believe, and so he decided to lie down and managed to drift off. No worries. We got in the car and were on our way.

The bus station in our town turned out to be a rather frightening, dark, dismal place. It looked like a Goodwill store, but a lot less organized, with half of everything outside and in disrepair. There was also the rather unusual setup of a pair of gas pumps with a picnic table next to them.

Ray and I arrived there at around 3:50 AM, with the bus scheduled to depart at 4:10. I'd been told to get there about a half hour before departure, and there I was, hoping to find out if my bag was too big by some Greyhound employee...only to find the place mostly deserted. Oh, there were a couple of people there, but no one who worked at the station.

When 4:10 rolled around...well, there was no bus. Nor was there a bus at 4:20. That's when I tried to make a call to Greyhound to see it there was a problem. Alas, while the buses roll 24 hours a day, they offices don't have such hours. There was no one to take my call, so I decided to wait until 5:10. If a bus hadn't arrived by then, I would go back with Ray and call Greyhound during their office hours.

Thankfully, around 4:30, the bus arrived, and that's when I received my first bit of grief from that particular bus driver. He suggested I check my bag under the bus at the next station, since he usually ended up with a full bus then...but I was not prepared to be separated with everything that I would need in the bag, including all of my meds.

He was right, of course. About the bus being completely filled, that is. I ended up sharing that front seat for a short while, my legs wrapped around my bag. I was not terribly comfortable, but I also wasn't terribly UNcomfortable. I survived the ride to the next major stop, where I switched buses.

I did what I thought was right. I waited on a line with the other passengers. But when I loaded onto the bus and told the driver about disabled services and my seating arrangement, he said, "You should have come to me earlier. I would have loaded you on first." Silly me, I thought cutting ahead would be somewhat rude.

Still, this time I had the seat all to myself for the entirety of my time along that route. I was able to drift in and out of sleep a bit, and tried to do a bit of reading. But during the night portion of the ride, when a new driver had been switched out, I was told my light was a bit of a problem. You see, my reading light didn't have a switched that would allow it to STAY on; I had to hold it down to make it work, and my fingers would get tired, causing me to let go every now and again. The driver finally told me that it was reflecting on the windshield and was distracting. That was the end of what reading I could do at the time.

Oh...and THAT driver didn't seem to care if I told him right away or waited to tell him about my seating.

Now, up until this time, there was a woman on the bus that...that...Well, I wish I had some crazy glue, because her mouth needed some permanent sealing. I could hear this woman at the front the bus the entire time, and she knew only one word that she would use as an adjective. "F***ing." That she actually found people to babble at meant she was talking the entire time, and it was made worse by the fact that when we would make stops, she would be off the bus and speaking even louder.

But she was the worst of it. I had no other issues with anyone else on the bus, and skillfully avoided using the on board bathroom the entire trip.

About a week before I left KS, I told Becky that at some point some poor driver would have to deal with the fact that I was overly excited at the prospect of seeing the woman I love. Lo and behold, the last driver I encountered turned out to be that exact victim. But she ASKED for it. I mentioned where I was heading, and said I could tell her the entire story, but that wasn't advisable. The driver replied, "If it's a love story, I wanna hear it." So she did. In fact, she became so wrapped up in the story that she wanted to see Becky, and had me call so I could have Becky waiting at the exact gate we'd be parking at.

I saw Becky as we were pulling in and had my bag in hand before the bus had stopped. If I could've run off the bus, I would have. As it was, I hobbled off, dropped my bag, threw my cane on top of it, and took her into my arms for a rather tight hug. Thankfully, I was able to remind myself not to crush her.

Now, I'm not EXACTLY sure when she did it. I think she waited for Becky and I to part at least once..and then the bus driver also joined in the hug. It was a bit nutty.

And so I am here, safe and somewhat sound. There's certainly going to be more to report, but that's all I'm going to report on for now.

Be well, all.

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