by Nic Olson
Some call it God. Others call it Truth. I call it the Greyhound. The most obvious incarnation of the universe. Reteaching me patience, humanity, humour, insanity, etc. I begin to foolishly rely on its efficiency. I begin to trust its schedules like a child trusting an alcoholic parent to pick him up after his soccer game. Waiting at the bus station with my eye constantly on the end of the block and soccer ball nervously shaking in my hands. Each and every time I remember that the Greyhound will exceed my expectations in letting me down, even when I expect it to already be an hour late. I simply don’t know its divine plan.
And then, a new and revamped model enters my life. Leather seats, wireless internet, leg room, less stink. And my hope is temporarily restored. It will only be a matter of weeks until I crave what I am feeling right now. Between Portland and Seattle, ass sore as if a paddle was taken to it, stomach growling in competition with the last twenty American dollars in my wallet, eyes stinging with sleep and recycled air. I will always, we will always, humans will always, try to please what disappoints them.
While waiting for my alcoholic enterprise to meet me in Sacramento after soccer practice, CNN repeatedly showed the Presidential address to Congress. Before soccer practice, that is, before San Francisco to Sacramento, I heard the address live. Or at least what I thought to be live. When I heard the exact same broadcast an hour later, Wolf Blitzer’s inflections and Anderson Cooper’s black framed glasses, I began to doubt that it was live the first time I heard it. The thing that was highlighted, however, over top of the President’s empty hope to ‘jolt’ the economy with his ‘Job Plan’, was the imminent terror threat for the anniversary of 9/11. A serious, credible, but not confirmed report. I guess you confirm a report of terrorism once a few hundred thousand people die. The words serious and credible and unconfirmed, obvious shallow shots at uniting patriotic Americans in their hate for the unknown. To further unite them as they remember the event ten years ago that brought them so much closer together with full body scans and up the ass security checks. That is unity.
So I ignored it, got on the bus, and sat leg to leg, shoulder to shoulder with a man praying to Allah, washing his feet on the bus, clapping his hands in a trance-like methodology. The threat to America, washing his feet peacefully on the Oakland to Portland bus. And after him, I was scolded by a firsttimer for having my seat all the way back at 3am. America, where America knows best.
The Godhound continues to amaze me. A bus full of strangers becomes like a bus full of beautiful demigods, parts of the traveling Supreme Godhead that is the Godhound. The man next to me, the God of Destruction, his mustard stained pants and glare out the window through his sunglasses have destroyed several onlookers. The driver, the God of Attitude, drinking espresso and making jokes about gummy bears and bus crashes to lighten the mood through heightened levels of stress. The woman next to me, the Goddess of Entitlement, warning me to never stand up in front of her again, even if it was for the betterment of the The God of Destruction. As we glide through a universe without direction, the fifty-five demigods inside of the Godhound unite to give it all some sort of beauty and purpose.
I never want to leave the realm of the Godhound.