The Greyhound Goldmine
Last week, I traveled from Atlanta to Savannah to visit my family. It was a lovely visit, but what’s fresh on my mind is how I got there and back. I rode the Greyhound for the first time in my life. When my mom first suggested it, I was not happy at all. Ugh. I was very resistant indeed, but I knew it was the best way to travel under the current circumstances. So, I decided to suck it up and do it. I’m glad I did.
The Atlanta bus station was well, a bit dingy. I got there at nine in the morning and it was already packed wall to wall with people. I could barely move from one spot to another without sidestepping a person or their belongings. After picking up my ticket and checking my bag, I found myself a spot. Of course, no seats were available. I crammed myself into a standing space as close to my departure gate as possible. Then, I watched. And listened.
The round trip produced all kinds people. So many stories. So many character traits to use. I saw a woman in her pajamas shuffling two kids and three bags. A gay couple cuddled in seats across from me. Both men wore acrylic nails with faux diamonds on the tips. One had braids so old that the natural chevron pattern of the interwoven hair had worn smooth. An older Australian couple had toured Savannah and took the bus to Atl to catch a plane. Another group discussed their probation officers and gave each other tips on how to avoid them. A trio of barely legal guys traded stories of sexual conquests from MILFS to threesomes, all of which sounded highly embellished.
All in all, the trip was more than entertaining. It was productive. I realize that the more I limit my own experiences, the more I limit my writing. You have to go out and interact with society. I am a natural introvert in many ways, and I am comfortable being at home. And though I’m not interested in riding the Greyhound on a regular basis, I am willing to open myself up to new experiences. You just never know when you’ll find that detail you’ve been looking for to make a character or story.