Riding Greyhound, people are generally traveling for just a few reasons. You're broke, without license, or you're moving somewhere to start over.
You'll know if you're sitting next to someone starting over, cause they've got a fucking story to tell, I'll tell you what.
Where they've been, where they're going. You're about to know allll about it.
I met this very recently sober *eyeroll* methhead today in Sacramento. I fucked up and leant him a pen inside the station even before we had got on a bus. Now he's my friend obviously. He got kicked out of his hotel last night at midnight for smoking weed outside, even though the front desk told him it would be ok. *eyeroll* He is headed to Sheridan, Montana, and he is getting on my bus to get there, headed for the southwest. Why his route has him going from Sacramento > Los Angeles > Phoenix > El Paso > Denver > Sheridan Wyoming (on the border of Northern Wyoming and Montana) I just don't understand. This shit will take him 3 days. I find all this out before we even get on the bus.
I do a quick search on my greyhound app and see it only takes a day to get there from Sacramento heading north to Portland then east. Seems way more direct, and is cheaper than the roll of tickets and connection slips wadded up in the front chest pocket of the leather jacket, with buckles, of 'Bag it up Bobby' the nickname his friends gave him back in the day when he used to commit petty theft alll over the place.
Bag it up Bobby has no money, no phone, and the first ID card he has had in 6 years. He is on a 3 day bus ride and he needs to use my phone to call his sister now that we're on the bus and he needs money somehow. She says no, she's pregnant, amd on her way to work and doesn't care about his situation at all. He says he'll see her in 5 years, and 'break into your accounts and get it then' laughing it off.
His adventure started somewhere in Oregon, but most recently he walked from Oroville to Sacramento (impressive for a methhead without a phone or wallet or water bottle). He's gonna desperately need me to buy him a cup of coffee at a stop since I obviously have money cause I have visible tattoos.
Another text, to whom I don't know cause he deleted it after he sent it so to not bother me or my phone with his family. (I thank him for that.)
He's never been to LA and as we jam south on i5 inside this bus, this country side has him wanting to jump into traffic and die. He asks me to Google Sheridan, Wyoming. He knows nothing about it. I ask why he is going there then. The very first question I've asked to this point. He says he doesn't even know, but he knows one girl there and she doesn't know he is coming. I guess his plan is to steal a car back or something.
He's starving. I watched him crush a sleeve of powdered donuts an hour and a half ago in Sac at the station, and a bag of chips. He's gonna need me to buy him a hotdog or something, along with that coffee.
We're pulling into an AmPm in Coalinga for a half hour break. Finally I can create some space. I tell him I'm set and don't need to get off. He bums a cigarette off the guy in front of him getting off the bus.
After 5 minutes or so I decide to get off, and walk a few hundred yards to the other gas station at this offramp, just to stay away from Bag it up Bobby. I walk into the gas station and he's right there, bumming food off the cigarette guy from the bus, so for now I'm spared his pleas to feed and hydrate him.
Back on the bus he needs my phone again. I take out my ear buds and look annoyed at his requesr. He asks to open YouTube cause he wants to play me the rap song he always plays after he has scored some dope. He's fiending. I tell him I'm more of a bluegrass fella, just to add contrast to his pick. He pulls up Big Thief and says he fucks with emotional music too. *eyeroll*
We're almost to the grapevine when he asks if we passed through LA yet. I assure him he didn't miss it. As we climb I tell him that the other side of these mountains will begin the decent into LA and true SoCal. Now he's ancy. And traffic is slowing as rush-hour is approaching. He's getting impatient to see skid row, on 7th avenue where the Los Angeles Greyhound Bus Station is located. But we're running late and our connecting bus is supposed to leave 5 minutes after we arrive, but its Greyhound so i know it will be a while. He needs money, he's gonna rob something maybe. He's not sure. I tell him that's a bad idea. He said he'll just try to find some whiskey.
Once in the LA station, the connection is a mess, our next bus isn't here yet and after an hour of waiting, Bag it up Bobby has panhandled some food and about 6.82$. He finds me and asks to Google a liquor store close by, as a methhead, in the middle of skid row, I say I wouldn't advise it, but he says there's gotta be one close but who knows when our bus will be here, just a waiting game. He says he will be quick. I say good luck. He leaves. 3 minutes later our bus pulls up, 14 minutes later we pull away and Bag it up Bobby now lives on skid row, with a wadded up roll of bus tickets hoping to get him to northern Wyoming that expires tonight. Good luck guy.