Melinda: Why don't you tell me a bus story?
Greg: Maybe we should do this late at night when I'm drinking or something. You know I can only do things when I'm drinking.
M: All right. Whatever.
G: I'll do it.
M: We can do it later. After your practice or whatever.
G: No its the radio show. I usually get home around 6 am.
M: Forget that.
G: Oh. Did Drew give you a bus story?
M: No I have to do the same thing with him.
G: Oh.
Silence.
G: Laughter. You're looking at me strange. You're making me uncomfortable.
Laughter.
G: Here you go. Say, so Greg do you have a bus story?
M: So Greg do you have a bus story?
G: I don't have many interesting stories about riding the Greyhound. Um, No I can't do it. I have to do the radio show tonight. Where's Wheat?
M: Wheat's at Phoebe's.
G: Oh. Have you seen this Phoebe girl? Is she a hotty?
M: She's a cutie.
G: What sort of cutie?
M: Greg I don't want to talk about this. Give me a bus story.
G: What sort of cutie?
M: Call Wheat and ask him.
Laughter.
G: Am I keeping you from your work?
M: Yes.
G: I am? But are you minding it?
M: No. I only have to make a phone call before 5. I'm kind of waiting for Deborah. Laughter.
G: Does she have a good story?
M: She has a great story but its not about busses.
G: Well the first time I took a bus I was very excited.
Pause
M: Why?
G: Because I thought it would be this great romantic sort of trip of you know desperation on the Greyhound bus. I was coming back to Chicago and it was a pretty boring sort of trip nothing really happening. I was sitting next to this 25-30 year old fellow and he seemed sort of interesting but we didn't talk for the whole ride. And I noticed he was always consulting and working on some sort of graph and then probably 50 miles to Chicago we start talking, um, and he was a very interesting fellow. And the graphs were some sort of drum chart and I had a sketch book with me so we were yakking about that we were yakking about various places to live and its not a very interesting story but it confirmed my belief that Greyhounds are WOW going to meet some interesting people.

(Deborah enters and leaves)

And then this was later confirmed when I was in the Chicago bus terminal waiting for a ride home. I was sitting on the seats and this kid came up to me because I was holding this sketchbook, this large sketchbook that I couldn't fit into any bag because I didn't want it to get fucked up or because it was large. And so this kid came up to me and says, "Oh are you an artist?". And I was like, "Oh Jesus I should have expected this if I'm going to be carrying around a goddamn sketchbook. So he, he started tellin' me about where he was from, he was some kid from the South and he was visiting his Uncle for the summer in Chicago and he was leaving and he was happy to be leaving and then he pulls out all this art that he made and I was like, "Oh Jesus here it is I'm gonna have to glad hand this kid, oh yes that's very nice looking." So he pulled out these awful watercolors, which I said, "Oh yes, these are really nice" and he said, "I don't like them they're garbage, in fact, I have all this stuff, I'm gonna get rid of it. You're an artist, here take these brushes, take these watercolors, take these watercolor pencils. And I was like, "No, no, you should continue and pursue your art, you gotta great potential..." you know the usual line of bullshit, but he wouldn't have any part of it so I got some free art supplies out of my bus trip - which was really good.
And, uh, so on my second bus trip I sat next to this young guy, he looked kind of square and straight, and I started to kick up a conversation with him but he didn't want any part of it. And he just just sort of looked at the garbage bag hanging on the side of the bus, "Well whad'ya do?" "I go to school." "Whad'ya study?" "Uh, feminist politics, women's studies," he said. And then he just sort of closed me off and I said, "all right." And I understand his uh, stance because many people just want to be left the fuck alone on the bus. But for some reason even though I never talked to anybody at parties or whatever, the bus seems like a perfect place to meet people (laughter) because you'll never have to deal with them again if your conversation kinda goes sour. It's not like you're gonna see this person around town again and HAVE to raise your hand in the obligatory hello, even though you'd rather just walk right past them with your head down. If you know what I mean. You know what I mean?
M: Yeah.
G: And plus there's always a possibility of meeting that kook. Or getting fucked. That's always in the back of my head whenever I take the bus.
M: That you might have sex?
G: Yeah, that's always in the back of my head even when I take public transportation. (Laughter) But I know it won't ever happen but...
M: But it might. I think about that too on the bus, but then there's never anybody I would want to approach. And the people that have approached me...well....forget it. I only ever hear other people kind of fucking and sucking in the middle of the night, trying to be quiet.
G: Then this other time I was coming back from New Jersey and there was this guy on the bus, as soon as I got on the bus I knew, uhoh we're in for quite an experience. The whole bus is in for quite an experience. Cuz he was just blathering on, pretty much introducing himself to everyone and telling his whole life story to everyone and he kinda latched on to these punk rock gutter kids, and I was quite envious because I wanted to milk this kook for all his stories, but I was also happy just listening to him not having to respond to what he was saying which was basically like only his story, he didn't want you know, the usual story of a one way conversation. So it was his story of how he gambles alot, going to Atlantic City, going to Las Vegas, gambling, get lots of money, trying to get these kids to go to Las Vegas and telling them what buffet tables were great to eat at. (Laugher) And about his daughter, "Oh yeah, my daughter's about your age. I haven't seen her in seven years though." Then he goes on about how he's on unemployment benefits because somehow he broke his leg by walking through this collapsed house or sumthin'. I forget exactly, but then during the nighttime halfway through the bus ride he starts in with the Jesus stuff and it seemed... Oh I forgot this part, he was always smoking in the bathroom and the bus driver threatened to kick him off. "Don't smoke in the bathroom." But he kept on smoking in the bathroom and he kept on giving these excuses like, "Oh I got to I got to, I'm sorry I just have to, I'm addicted you know." And so midway through the bus trip he starts kicking in with the Jesus stuff, giving them pamphlets and it was a boy and girl punk rocker and the boy punk rocker just zoned him out, put on his headphones but the girl punk rocker was caught and he kept on handing her all these religious pamphlets with these sunburts on 'em, lens flares. And creepy looking guys on the back cover who wrote the book and he would say, he was sitting in front of them so he was constantly always over the back of the chair talking to her and he would point out passages like, "yeah, yeah, I really like this passage." And she'd just sorta shake her head - OK. Just humoring him. And then the punk rockers got off somewhere around, probably at Cleveland. And then I got back on the bus and at this point I was like, no way do I want this guy sitting next to me cuz I already heard his stories and it's obvious that he has only one story in him. So he actually sat next to someone that was really into his conversation like this 18 year old fat football player kid and they were talkin' about Celine Dion, how she's such a cutie, and oh boy does she have a voice, real inane conversation and then this fat football player kid brings out his folder of drawings and I'm sitting next to 'em, across the aisle so I can see what his folder of drawings consists of which it was just these poorly rendered and traced Garfield's and Tasmanian Devils and baseball players and he was, "that's really great, that's really great."
M: The old guy?
G: The old guy was. And then the last time I took the bus nothing exciting happened and I've been avoiding taking the bus cuz it's such a drudgery.
M: So your whole romantic dream has been shattered?
G: My whole romantic dream has been shattered just cuz I can't stand the claustrophobia of it all.
M: No more interesting people?
G: I have no interesting Cleveland bus terminal story except extreme boredom and sleepiness. I just like the Cleveland bus station cuz they have those bucket seats with the televisions connected to 'em.