In Which A Pre-Dawn Bus Arrives

Gentle Reader, taking the early morning trek to my mother’s this morning, I was reminded of something that happened this fall. Now, you must understand that to get to my mother’s, as a non-driver, that I have to ride in with my roommate, P., when she goes to work. She leaves the farm at five a.m.: if I want a shower, I need to be up by three-thirty, and if not, by four. Even when my work hours were similar, I never could sleep before midnight. This poses a problem that is most easily solved by not sleeping when I go down to Maman’s, despite the combination of grogginess and crankiness that results.


After being deposited at the bussery, I wait. If I’m lucky enough to be traveling on a weekday, the wait is negligible – a mere five minutes or so. If on a weekend – say, a Sunday – as is my usual wont, the wait is an hour and a half. It was on one such Sunday, in fact – a foggy, bucketing-down, inhospitably bleary Autumn day – that I saw a person of indeterminate gender in a flowing white cape.

Thank you, Wise Counselor!

They were wandering about the parking lot by the bussery, scavenging cigarette butts. Being in reduced circumstances myself, I had only brought a couple smokes with me – not enough to last me the entire trip to Ma’s (After the hour and a half wait, there’s fourty-five minutes aboard the bus, and then another hour wait, and then another hour ride – it takes less time to fly from Seattle to Los Angeles than to travel by bus from the farm to my mother’s). I had just one cigarette left. As the person got closer, I noticed the newspaper hat, doing nothing to keep out the rain, and the tattered, muddy edge of what had appeared to be a pristine white cloak, but was in fact a ragged blanket.


When I say that I’m in reduced circumstances, frequently I mean that I’m only moments away from having to live like that, myself. I’m very lucky to not have to. Luck, wit, and I daresay my excellent friends and family have kept me from such a turn, but I absolutely sympathize.

I gave the old woman – for such she turned out to be – my last cigarette. I had nothing else to give her. I couldn’t replace her teeth or her mental health. I had no money to give her – I was paying my bus fare in exact change, and that was all that I had. I had no warmer clothes with me, to give her, or information on work or a place to sleep. All I had was that cigarette.


She needed it more than I did.

As she wandered off into into the dark, fog crystallizing on her cape, I wondered what had happened – how she had ended up in such circumstances. Many people I know – good people; hard-working people – are only a few checks from ending up like this: savings meager, as there’s never enough left to put away.

How far is the wolf from your own door?

About Ty DeLyte

Madame DeLyte has suffered a grave disappointment - YET AGAIN - and still believes that freedom, beauty, and truth are what's valuable, rather than vulgar cash. He'd add love to that list - but, well, what can he say about love?
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11 Responses to In Which A Pre-Dawn Bus Arrives

  1. ekgo says:

    That wolf? I have taken up hunting. I am resolved to shoot it, skin it, and put its pelt in front of my wood burning stove where I shall lie upon in and eat bon bons.
    Ok, not the bon bons part, but Gabe got a job and I am wrestling debt into manageable control. It’s been a very harsh three years but I might even have internet connectivity again by December. There’s hope for cell phones, as well.

    That was very nice of you to give up your last cigarette. I hope it helped her a little bit. Well, I mean, of course it didn’t because it’s a cigarette and they cause emphysema, but you know what I mean. I hope she felt better being able to smoke one, whole, entire cigarette that day.

    • Tyler J. Yoder says:

      I liked the bon-bon part. Very nice mataphor – but, then again, I never metaphor I didn’t like. *commence Groucho style eyebrow waggle*

      I’m glad things are looking up for you two! That’s marvelous! What is Gabe doing?

      I like to think that her morning was improved. I can’t say. It was a terribly inhospitable morning, and she had so little. Any of us can slip through the cracks so easily.

      • ekgo says:

        I’ve almost slipped through those cracks a couple of times. Thank goodness I have sharp nails and can cling really well. Like a gecko. With nails. That would be a scary gecko.

        Also: BWAHAHAHA on your metaphor joke. It made me giggle and I wasn’t expecting that.

        Starting the 29th, Gabe will be working for Xerox’s business solutions office. I’ll know more about what he’ll do once he’s doing it, but just knowing that we’ve got a second income and will be able to buy groceries? OMG, that’s so huge.

        • Tyler J. Yoder says:

          I want to design a coat of arms for you featuring dead wolves and nail-geckos. It’ll be terriffic!

          Seriously, congratulate him from me. He’ll be all “who?” And you’ll be all “this guy on the internet who’s planning on living in our basement, Gabe” and then… well, tell me when you find out.

          • ekgo says:

            Oh, he knows who you are. I told him the day we fell in love that I have a new internet boyfriend and he said, “Do your IRL boyfriends know about this?” and I said, “No and we won’t tell them because they’ll be jealous.” And THEN he told me, days and days later, “Your new friend is following my blog.” I said, “What new friend?” He said, “Your internet boyfriend” I said, “OH! Yay! He’s so sweeeeet!” *squeal squeal* and Gabe just rolled his eyes. He already knows you’ll be living in the basement and will take on the concrete projects. He’s good with that but said you’ll have to clean the bathroom down there, yourself.
            I will tell him you send congratulations to him.

            Also: I will definitely take that coat of arms. And just to be legit, there should be an olive or olive branch or olive tree on there somewhere to signify my surname. My colors can be purple, green, and gray. The Lannisters will fear me.

          • Tyler J. Yoder says:

            I will start work on it right away, using my (nonexistent) considerable artistic powers.

            I really enjoy the exchange above. You should really tell your IRL boyfriends about our love, though. I like making people jealous.

          • ekgo says:

            NO! They’ll stop making me fancy drink brunches!!

          • Tyler J. Yoder says:

            That’s absolutely unacceptable! By all means, keep our love a secret for brunches. Totally worthwhile.

          • ekgo says:

            Not just brunches, but brunches filled with fancy drinks. I mean, how can it GET any BETTER? It can’t, really.

          • Tyler J. Yoder says:

            I can’t compete with fancy-drink brunches. I wish fellas would do that for me. There’s no comparison.

          • ekgo says:

            Well. I’ve got really good boyfriends. Obviously. They all went on a cruise together and took a drink-making class and were drunk pretty much the whole time, but they learned some good tricks and now they pamper me with their knowledge.
            Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll be invited to fancy drink brunches when you live in the basement.

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