My First Time: A Greyhound Story

I was in San Diego, at the end of a five year relationship. "69 dollars anywhere in the continental U.S., and leave the driving to us." I wanted to get away, and for that price New York City seemed like the farthest choice. It's logical to me that the nation who spawned convenience as a lifestyle cannot offer decent long distance bus transportation. Total time for my first Greyhound experience; four days.

I want to tell you about; trying to get a fresh salad on the road and realizing that McDonald's had the most appetizing; the bus driver who said "ten minutes" and meant it as he drove away without one of the passengers; the Pennsylvania troopers who stopped the bus, made us all get out and randomly searched through purses and bags without probable cause. But instead I'm going to tell you about "the creep behind us." "Us" was Natasha Byam and me. While I was waiting to board in Fullerton, California I met Natasha. She had been visiting her boyfriend for two weeks and was returning to Brooklyn. So for those four days we sat together, ate together, waited in line together, and experienced the creep together.

The creep behind us changed buses in Ohio. That's where we warned the woman the woman traveling with her pre-pubescent daughter about him. He was in line behind them and I could not keep silent in this one. We blatantly warned her about his wandering hand.

It was night. People are sleeping. The lights are out. I am listening to the Paris, Texas soundtrack on my walkman, trying to sleep. But how can a person sleep in a semi-supine position after two days? Natasha has the window seat, and was sleeping, or pretending. My eyes were closed, but not for long when I felt a hand on top of my head. Not a heavy hand but probing fingers in my short blond hair. My eyes flashed open to the dark bus. I was stunned and unable to do anything except sink down in my seat far enough to escape his touch. In less than a minute my terror turned to rage. I knew that if I felt anything again I was prepared to unleash my fury on whom ever was sitting behind. Nothing happened. Needless to say I did not sleep for the remainder of the journey. The next stop was Ohio and that's where the creep changed buses. That was also where I found out that he had touched Natasha first . She had felt the hand on her shoulder and arm and had tried unsuccessfully to tell me about it. So we warned the woman who waited in line in front of this creep.

- Abuelita