All sorts and conditions of people take the bus (myself included) . On this particular trip of some years ago I took note of the two talkative folk who sat in front of me. One was on oe side of the aisle, the other was on the other.
Directly in front was a handsome young man in his twenties who had, that morning, just been released from penitentiary. He was on his way home. Across the aisle from him was a grizzled and bearded man in his mid-life. He had never taken a bus ride before.
They talked. I listened.
The convicted felon (a cheerful and polite fellow) had, with a partner, robbed a grocery store. Stole the safe. Got a lot of money (thousands in the double digits). They got away with it. However, some days later, his partner got a case of the ‘guilts’ and turned himself in. And told what had happened. And his buddy, unplanned and unwanted, soon followed. Fourteen months.
The bearded fellow, never on the bus, had a host of motorcycles and vans and such, and travelled in them. he took a header when he hit an empty pop bottle. He was a hippy from way back and more or less continues to this day. Even the bus driver recognized the van he described, famous for its art work.
The former inmate revealed how to make ‘moonshine’ from unimaginable ingredients; how to make money from ‘nicotine patches’ by cutting them into strips and selling the contents; and that cigarettes behind bars cost $15 each. Oh – yes – he also lost his girlfriend because of his actions. “A BIG mistake,” he said.
I gotta admit, all this, plus the beautiful scenery, whiled away the time.