Friday, June 21, 2013

From Dallas to McAllen

It was September 2012. I was at a gas station in McKinney, saying bye to Angie. I had spent the weekend with Angie and Cody in Frisco, enjoying those days with two close friends. 

The bus was late, as usual. I was getting nervous, also as usual. So I asked Angie if I could borrow her cell phone to make a call to Greyhound. As I was making the phone call, I finally saw the bus arriving. I hugged Angie, stepped out and hopped on the bus. I put some Oscar Hernandez music on my mp3 player and off we went, patras al Valle.  

First I went from McKinney to Dallas. I spent at least two hours there at the bus station as I waited for my transfer. Re-listening to stuff on my mp3 player and eating a cheap burger as I waited there. I was anxious to get home. I wanted to watch Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs Sergio Martinez and Canelo Alvarez vs Josesito Lopez, two huge fights that I had missed while being away. I also had an article that I needed to finish on local record producer Mike Lopez. 

The bus finally came, the bus driver looked at my receipt and begrudgingly accepted it. I buy my bus tickets at Ace Express, where the receipt is used as the ticket. Some bus drivers are cool with it; others are pricks about it.  

So from Dallas, the bus was supposed to go from there to McAllen, with stops to Austin, San Antonio, and Falfurrias. I finally get some reception on my phone and I call my father and brother. Both were explaining, in vigorous detail, what was happening with the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons. When the game ended, I got a call from my dad telling me Peyton Manning had lost; me aguite. Ni modo.

In little while later, I noticed one of the passengers smoking weed in the very last row of the bus. It was two joints, I think that's what they were -- my knowledge of drugs is genuinely awful. This guy just didn't give a fuck. While it was obvious, no one said a thing. The gentleman, higher than a Super Astro tope, got off in San Antonio. 

We arrived at Falfurrias at 5:00 AM and we were supposed to be in McAllen by 5:45 AM. The bus driver hopped off the bus to go inside the gas station, then he came back in to say something I couldn't understand and then he stepped out again. Then an ambulance came! The bus driver hopped into the back of the ambulance y se largo. So we were there stranded in Falfurrias, perplexed by what had just occurred.  What the fuck just happened?

A passenger that was near the bus driver informed us that the driver felt "he couldn't continue" and sufferring from heart issues or high blood pressure. This passenger tells us that the bus driver was swerving all over on the expressway, while most of us were asleep, dreaming about getting back home to el Valle.  

So we waited in Falfurrias from 5 AM. Then 6 AM. Then 7 AM. 8 AM and finally at 8:45 AM, this other bus from San Antonio came to pick us up. By that point, we were all calling to Greyhound, necios, asking what was going on, so we were relieved to see the bus after being there for close to four hours.

On the bus, a random passenger asked if he could use my mp3 player. I let him use it. I'll admit, I kept my eye on him just to make sure he didn't sprint out of the bus with it. But he was cool, after using it for a bit, he handed it over and thanked me. I felt bad for thinking he might do something like that; guilt and exhausted by that point. 

I got to McAllen at 10:05 AM. I've never had a bus drive like this. I got home, I had some really intense and colorful dreams. I woke later that Tuesday night, finally watching the HBO PPV and Showtime presentation of the two aforementioned fights. I was drained, but happy to be home. 

1 comments:

Maria said...

Greyhound brings back memories. It was mid-80s and my baby sister and I were going to UT Austin for the fall. I was starting my third year, she was a fishy. When I started UT, my parents borrowed a van and drove me up there - in one day they made the roundtrip. We left about 5am and they returned back home to Donna about midnight. When my sister started UT, they sent us on a Greyhound. There we were, 2 young latina girls, going to the big town -- in a Greyhound. :-) I haven't been back on a Greyhound since then.

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