It was a few weeks ago that I traveled from Everett, WA to Bozeman, MT via Greyhound bus. Though I have had opportunity to travel extensively around the country in the past 8 years or so, this would be my first time entrusting a bus driver with my safety for over 700 miles of travel.
I walked into the bus station in Everett without really knowing what to expect. What I discovered was a hodge-podge group of people with few things in common besides the urge to smoke a cigarette every time the bus slowed to a stop in the random Washington and Montana towns along the route. Old people, young people, people excited about life on the outside (having just been released from prison), people with tattoos, people with children, hikers, hippies, business men, college kids...it was all very interesting.
My route was scheduled to take over 15 hours to complete, so on the morning of my departure I chose a seat next to a sweet looking older lady with silky white hair reading "My Utmost for His Highest". We exchanged a few pleasantries and then I hunkered down for the duration of my ride with a book and my ipod. A few hours into the trip and the lady next to me was nudging me. I pulled off my earphones in time to hear her ask, "Would you like some steroids?"
I wasn't sure how to react to the shocking question, so I quickly replied, "Excuse me?" Immediately all these scary images of "bus people" came to mind. And here is an old lady offering me steroids in the middle of Eastern Washington. What had I gotten myself into?
Clarification of her offer came in her outstretched hand. There in the palm of her hand lay a tin box of Altoids. "Oh, thank you. Yes, I'll have a mint."
I couldn't help but laugh quietly to myself as I let the mint dissolve in my mouth.