There´s always something quite intriguing about trips. It´s not the fact that you are heading towards the destination, nor the act of distancing yourself from the place you just made some memories in, but the actual trip, the queues you stand in line at, the people on the bus, the anger when the bus is delayed, the excitement when you actually catch the connection for your final destination known.
It was just like that this weekend, coming back from yet another visit to Washington DC, their nation´s capital, a city with a European feel given the fact that the centre was designed by a French architect.
In America, if you do not own a car you might as well not dream of getting too far, for you are no more than a mere fleck of dust on the surface of the USA. As a consequence, train connections are few and far between…only meant for those unfortunate folks who cannot drive themselves where their hearts and engines desire.
Buses are cheaper versions of train rides, but their reliability is somewhat nonexisting. An example: having bought a ticket for the Greyhound line at midnight so I could make the most of my days off and get to DC in the morning, I found myself waiting in the station for 2 hours(until almsot 2 am) , no bus in sight. The ticket had been purchased online, they had even requested my cellphone number (heaven knows why…cause it sure as hell wasn´t in order to call and tell me that their driver just didn´t wanna come pick people up that day. Neah…he might have said. Too tired. Let the carless half-humans wait. If they don´t have a car they won´t have enough money to sue.)
The effort and adventure of getting to DC left aside, the trip back was just as eventful in the delays, the ticket machines not working unless you literally hit the screen as hard as you could (whoever invented touch screens never took into consideration the fact that someone with anger management problems would ruin them in no time), the bus drivers slowly opening the luggage trap when you could see your connection bus almost leaving. “Calm down, please. Relax.” …”But sir, my bus…”
Once you are actually on the bus and you know that you will make it home (at one point, for sure not the one n the ticket), the view out the window captures you: trees with trunks immersed in swamps freshly created by some strong downpour, houses lost somewhere in the woods, coal trains zooming past you, heavy on their old tracks.
But the most surprising thing I saw was the huge amount of tires at the edge of the road. Here one tire, torn in half, there another one, intact, to the right a small, baby tire, belly-up, on the grass a huge truck tire. Back home you see cats and dogs, smashed. The variety comes only from the degrees of injuries caused by the impact.
Here, the only roadkill spotted was a racoon, notorious for his species´ highway suicidal tendencies.
Tires. Tires to take you home, tires to leave you waiting for help. I wonder where they all came from, and what happened in the end to all the cars that lost them, all the people that left them there, willingly or not.
But that is all behind me now. Almost a week behind me.
Fresh is only the memory of arriving back to Williamsburg, to see the eagles in the air like kites, serenely floating towards the deepest of blues.