Scene 1: Standing in line at the Boise Greyhound bus depot at 6:30am, hoping to be allowed to grace the steps of the bus we want to ride on for the next 22+ hours after having missed the first one the night before due to no fault of our own and all fault of Greyhound's inability to follow a fucking schedule. Random scrawny gakked out teenager with no baggage, nothing but a striped rugby shirt size 42 shorts and giant puffy white shoes, turns to me as if I have the capacity to take on any more suffering than my own at this point, and starts a conversation about his troubles, "driving from Texas..." He leaves the ending open and this is where I am supposed to show interest or at least acknowledgment and therefore he feels sufficiently provoked to unravel the rest of the mystery of How He Became a Greyhound Passenger. Dashing his dreams of having a conversation with an irritated stranger, I look to my left, at the bank of empty pay phones and pretend to have not heard him. He starts and sputters again, and I continue to pretend I am in the Cone of Silence. He gives up and turns away. Victory is mine, small but sweet. However, not 10 minutes later a crazy bag lady type comes up to me and starts the same schtick. People, where has my compassion gone? I think the ticket agent who said he hoped he could find room for us on the bus the morning after we spent $50 we don't have on a dank motel room in downtown Boise shat it out after his morning coffee.
nasty Boise Greyhound bus depot restroom
Scene 2: After being sardined on a bus for 22+ hours and listening to asnine How To Grow Dope stories from 17 year old punks, trying to sleep in that Tilt Back Head way that gives you knots in your neck and a splitting migraine, being forced to breathe air that's been sneeze attacked by the crotchety old hag who insists on having the Other Front Seat even though my husband's legs are obviously cramping in atrophy for having been confined like a veal calf in a crate for the past day and all he wants is a seat to himself to stretch out said legs, being forced to huff B.O. from an ethnic variety of fellow Greyhounders (lemons and trash combo, I think Keith said about one woman), we finally arrive at our destination hotel at a little after midnight. Reservations have been secured more than a week ago by our very thoughtful uncle and aunt (who are also giving us a Jeep which we are picking up on this trip and which is the reason for riding the bus since we don't want to drive back home in separate cars). Roly poly front desk girl, "Elizabeth" claims there is no credit card authorization on file and therefore we are suspect, and retarded to boot. After shuffling papers for a while, she determines she can let us stay the night if only we call my aunt in the morning and have the requesite information faxed over blah blah blah. I say, in my best I'm Restraining Myself From Murder Right Now Only Because It Would Be A Hassle voice, that No, it is her job, the front desk person's job to secure billing information to which she replies that I am full of shit. I concede the fact that I am too weary for battle and I will willingly follow her every command, no matter how condescendingly delivered. She appears satisfied with this power gain and gives us our room keys. All this transpires while the "manager," a small Indian (dot) looking fellow in a t-shirt, mesh shorts, and flip flops observes his incompetent cow of an employee giving us the Shaft of Rude. I see. After being assured by my aunt the next day that front desk personnel have been read the Riot Act regarding their lack of service and overflowing ineptitude, we return the following night just as Elizabeth is beginning her shift. Our keys need to be activiated for tonight, since she was holding the next night ransom to ensure we called to get the credit card authorization. I tell her it has been taken care of, she shuffles papers, I call her incompetent, say the whole place is a joke, etc etc. She gives us newly authorized keys, at which point Keith reminds me to ask for towels because housekeeping failed to visit our room even though the nice shiny plastic door tag was begging them to do so. She says she will notify the head housekeeper; I say, "I bet." She shuffles off to get towels and says, "I'm trying my best, ma'am." Oh seriously, Condi Sending? You should be ashamed. You should be scooping poop at the local kennel if this is your Best. (The worst part of the whole thing was the shower----we've had better showers in Mexican dive hotels. My only regret is that the scalding water [alternating with freezing] didn't do any lasting damage for which I could have been monetarily compensated.)
So, leaving out all of the other hiccups that happened on the way home, we arrive back in Kamiah this afternoon to see a very lonesome doggy and my seemingly lonesome parents, too. Mail is now being forwarded here (another anger story involving me, yelling, and the mail lady) and I find among bills and misc. catalogs my newest issue of Sun Magazine. It's routinely filled with bits of humanity and enlightenment that I tuck away into my soul and I found several in this month's issue. Here are two---
BoH&E1: ...the attention we pay to particular outcomes in life, be they good or bad, should be mininal. Fortune will change like the weather: Now you have fallen ill. Now your illness has been cured. Now you have gone broke. Now you have inherited a stash of money...Relinquish attachment to outcomes, Krishna advises; be equally indifferent to success and failure. The real value of what happens "out there" in the ever-changing world (and, from Krishna's perspective, "out there" includes your own body) lies in the opportunity to see anew from "in here"--from the perspective of the eternal soul. (Jim Ralston)
BoH&E2: (regarding forgiveness and the Christian prayer for forgiving those who trespass against us---although I am not a Christian or any religion for that matter) ...Nowhere do I see the notion that forgiveness is a good idea only if the offenders understand the gravity of their harm; if they acknowledge their role; if they promise to act differently in the future; if they are sorry enough. (Beth Mayer)
These snipets of my life and the gleanings of Sun Magazine are converging near a conversation I've been having with my therapistcounselor (of which I will spare you the details) but it all boils down to not apologizing for how I feel regardless of others' reactions to said feelings, owning up to what I want for myself, but at the same time realizing that my interpretation of a situation is not necessarily the interpretation or even intention of other actors involved, and that I need to Stop Living in the Past. This last item is hardest to accomplish, especially when your brain seems to have been equipped with a super 8 that records meaningless and traumatizing events alike and then runs them on loop incessantly until replaced by newer data. But, Be Here Now is a good motto and a good starting point and I will try to practice it more effectively. Amen.