The day is beautiful, but snow is forecasted later. The bus station is practically empty. Only a handful of passengers board the bus: a guy with no shoes or socks, a young hippy who falls asleep immediately while sprawled across two seats, and a bunch of stoners who move to the back of the bus. One of them claims the very last row of seats at the rear of the bus.

Stoner 1: I got three seats!
Stoner 2
: Dude, you don’t want to sit there. It’s right next to the toilet; you’ll be whiffing bus pee the whole way.

After they settle in, two rows from the toilet, they began an animated conversation consisting mostly of the words, “Dude,” “Bullshit,” and “Way.” They start talking about Burning Man and since none of them have been there, they pretty much get everything wrong.

Stoner 1: Dude, everyone’s naked there. Even the chicks.
Stoner 2: Bullshit.
Stoner 3: Way, and there’s all kinds of drugs. People walk around passing out acid, X, weed, whatever.

truckke.jpgI decide not to set them straight. We stop in Truckee for a bit, where the snow is falling lightly. Shoeless Joe steps out of the bus to smoke a cigarette. Hippy Boy slumbers unaware. The Stoners exit to smoke their "cigarettes."

images-12.jpegWhen we board the bus again, I move my seat to be further away from The Stoners inane, yet captivating, chatter so I can take a nap. I sleep until we pull into Colfax. It’s stopped snowing. I look at my watch and I’m surprised at the time we’ve made. I leave the bus to chat with the driver, a tough old bird named Dixie.

Me: Wow, you made really good time.
Dixie: That’s because I’m a smoker. Smoking bus drivers always drive fast so they can get to their next smoke break quicker.
Me: Do you like being a bus driver?
Dixie: It’s a great job for an old broad. Sit all day and no heavy lifting.
Me: Have you run into any problems with your passengers?
Dixie: Nope. You heard me say my one rule when we started out of Reno, “No profanity.” If people can’t make swear words, they can’t make fists.
Me: How long have you been driving this route?
Dixie: About six months.
Me: How long have you been driving a bus?
Dixie: About six months.

We board the bus again and I sleep until we reach Vallejo. As Dixie smokes her cigarette, I compliment her on the condition of her new bus.

Dixie: It ain’t a new bus. It’s a refurbished bus. The new buses are shit. They’re all plastic and don’t work worth shit and pieces are always breaking off them. I like the old ones.

Good Bus Shit Bus
images-141.jpeg images-131.jpeg

You know what, Dixie? So do I. We get on the bus again and arrive safely. The B-Man, looking good, picks me up and drives me home.