San Francisco

Greyhound: The biggest mistake of my life

Once upon a time, I made the biggest mistake of my life.

I willingly purchased a one-way Greyhound ticket from Rockford, Illinois to San Francisco, California.

And then, after several weeks of absorbing all that San Francisco had to offer, I made the second biggest mistake of my life.

I willingly purchased a one-way Greyhound ticket from San Francisco, California to Rockford, Illinois.

My first thought upon arriving in San Francisco after a 52-hour bus ride was “I need a shower, and I need a shower now.”

Something, anything, to wash the Greyhound filth from my skin. I felt disgusting.

What I had just experienced was mesmerizing.

The child molester on the run.  The sobbing Vietnam vet. The toothless man trying to sell me acid.

The obese, smelly woman taking over my seat. The couple in front of me almost making love in the early morning hours. Sheriff’s deputies violently arresting a man as he stepped off the bus.

The old woman sitting next to me picking her feet, cackling like a diseased crow. The drunk parolee with a huge knife in his bag. The ceaselessly crying babies.

All this, and I was only 12, 13 hours into my journey.

Yet time and time again, one painfully long layover after another, I boarded the old rickety bus headed towards oblivion with no end in sight.

How about you? How many hours straight did you endure the torture of a Greyhound bus ride? What happened along the way? Would you do it again?