Megabus Musings

An exercise in stream-of-consciousness writing while taking a Megabus from London to Bristol

**September 24th, 2010**

 

I’m on Megabus right now, headed to Bristol. I’ve been chewing on the same piece of peppermint Orbit gum for at least an hour now. It’s starting to feel sharp and bitter inside my mouth. When did I start chewing primarily on my left side? My boots kind of pinch my toes, but they’re better for walking in the rain than my flimsy Primark flats. I’m in an extremely creative mood today. It’s probably my mind’s self-defense mechanism for avoiding thinking about the inevitable awkwardness that’s to come. The further we speed along down the road, the heavier my chest and stomach feels. Although that could be the leftover tuna-zucchini-cheese-tomato pasta I had for breakfast. 

It’s been over three years now. Time heals all wounds, right? Let’s hope so. 

My legs are too long for the limited seating space, but at least I have a whole row to myself. I often wonder what people around me are thinking. Not necessarily if they’re passing any thoughts on me, but just curious about how different everyone’s inner monologues are. Do people talk to themselves in the third person? Or are there songs constantly playing in the background? Or are they thinking about food and sex? Reminiscing on nostalgic moments? Trying to surpress negative thoughts? Carefully filtering their true thoughts from the words that actually escape their lips, like a whale filters food from ocean water? I just caught the eye of a girl sitting in front of me, as she adjusted in her seat. A moment so brief and meaningless, it will soon be forgotten.

Being on the left side of the road now only feels weird at night. My eyes are not used to the mirror image of white and red lights. It hurts, slightly, but it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It’s just something to get used to. This is the first time in a very long time that I’ve allowed myself to run with my thoughts, without burying them with stupid reality shows or movies online. It’s too easy and comfortable to ignore the mind, to push away thoughts, to avoid making decisions because they’re too hard to face. And so the days roll by, the months change, the lines between different weeks become blurred. 

I find comfort in the fact that we’re all lost right now, not having a fucking (that’s for emphasis, not anger!) clue what we’ll be doing in a week’s, month’s, or year’s time. Not even knowing where we’ll be living, or if we’ll be working. It’s only a bad thing if/when the money runs out. I love having money, but I hate money. It can turn people into monsters. It can be worse on a relationship than infidelity. People become obsessed with it, and lose sight of the things that really matter in life. Like connections with other human beings. Because, really, the connections that we make are what make life worth living. “All you need is love.” “If you’ve lost your faith in love and music, the end won’t be long.” Too true. I haven’t lost mine. I may be lost in life right now, sailing along without a specific final destination in mind, but the experiences that I’ve had over the past year have been incredible. The new places I’ve been to, the new skills I’ve learned, and, most importantly, the new people that have come into my life. I believe there’s a reason why everything’s played out the way it has, and I feel that even better things are about to happen. It’s all bubbling under the surface, ready to erupt. And, finally, the puzzle will start to make sense. Form the edges first, then fill in the rest. 

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Megabus

I can hear the crinkling sound of a packet of crisps being opened. Crunch. Crunch.

We’re speeding along the left side of the road, and my bladder is cursing me for that cup of lukewarm mocha so inconveniently consumed right before the journey started.

The couple in front of me are joined together in holy naptrimony, and I can’t tell if that little snorty snore that just escaped from its olfactory prison was from the man or the woman.

The seats are upholstered in a tacky velour fabric, royal blue with yellow and orange geometric Pacman-esque shapes.

Megacool fabric on the Megabus from Bristol to London

It complements the shiny shell of the exterior, in the same shade of royal blue, with bright yellow letters spelling out “MEGABUS.”

It reminds me of Santa Clara High School’s colors, and I feel a twinge of nostalgia for my high school days across the other side of the world.

As I turn back to see if the bathroom is vacant, I notice that everyone is sleeping. Some people have their heads rested back, and others are sprawled across both seats.

It’s funny how, no matter what age or gender, everyone looks so serene and innocent when they’re sleeping. Normally furrowed brows become uncreased. Nervous, shaky limbs become tranquilized. Tranquil eyes?

Heads gently bob from the movement of the bus. Mouths are relaxed, neither smiling nor frowning, slightly parted to let warm air out. Expressions are even more neutral than Switzerland.

Some people are stirred awake by an unexpected bump in the road, or change in speed, while others soldier on through their slumber.

All roads lead to London

Next stop: London!

Sunrise In Northwick Park

We just witnessed the “double rainbow” of all sunrises.

Stumbling our way across Northwick Park, the night before melting into the morning after without a wink in between.

Photo courtesy of Isabelle Finateu, http://isabellefinateu.com/

Morning dew adorns itself to the freshly cut grass, as if someone came during the night and took a microscopic bedazzler to every perky green blade, willing or not.

A thick white fog envelops us as we descend into the misty unknown. Time and worries are temporarily suspended, just like our warm exhalations hitting the brisk Harrow air. It’s as if we’ve ascended into the clouds, and we’ve become infinite.

Somehow the darkness of night managed to slip away, like a regretful one night stand, before we had a chance to realize it.

The skyline is fading from deep magenta, to shades of violet and baby blue; the backdrop of the glorious sun that’s about to take center stage.

Photo courtesy of Isabelle Finateu, http://isabellefinateu.com/

Beams of warm light cut their way through the fog and trees, hugging our bodies and dancing across our retinas.

We become momentarily frozen in awe, before breaking out and running and twirling and skipping and laughing in the golden light.

We admire our black silhouettes against the rising sun, like shadows ripped off of the ground and given a corporeal form.

Photo courtesy of Isabelle Finateu, http://isabellefinateu.com/

The caked-on beer on my boots has been replaced by a 5 o’clock shadow of grass clippings.

A single white dandelion stands on the field, daring to be plucked, beads of moisture disguising it as a mini disco ball.

“Make a wish.”

Photo courtesy of Isabelle Finateu, http://isabellefinateu.com/