There are all sorts and conditions of people who take the bus (myself included). A few years ago I made particular note of the two talkative folk who sat in front of me, one on either side of the aisle.
Directly in front was a handsome young man in his twenties. He 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 who 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.
His buddy, unplanned and unwanted, soon followed. Fourteen months.
The bearded fellow – never on the bus – had a host of motorcycles and vans, 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 ‘nicotene patches’ (by cutting them into strips and selling the contents);
how 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 wiled away the time.