The Day I Bought The Bus
“Will it run?”
“What year is it?”
“Good, it’s two years younger than me. Plenty of life.”
Randy, Sam and I walk around the bus. Randy kicks all six tires. “Yea, they’ll roll.”
The bus sits, tucked back on the lot, in an amassing, stagnant wave of blackberry bushes. It's missing two windows and a door and there are raccoon droppings on the seats in rows 5 and 7. The engine is makeshift, but mostly in tact. The driver’s seat is missing but the key sits, enticingly, in the ignition. “Look, it even has a video camera in here in case you want to record your life,” says Jeff, the bus guy. “That’s about the last thing that needs recording, lawd.” I look at Randy, “What do you think?” “It’s a nice bus.” “Sam?” “Yea, seems pretty solid.” With little thought, my heart rate slows. I turn to Jeff, “I’ll take it.”
I drive Sam in my car, back to town. “I just bought a bus.” “Bought a bus.” “30 days to renovate.” "Holy shit.”
I think back to my recent trip to JMU for the creative writing conference when Sean and I booked three open mic sets in 2 hours. In less than 24, I have found a permanent home base for myself in the mountains of western North Carolina. When life gives you lemons, buy a big yellow bus. Friends, may I introduce to you bus #148, two digits shy of what I paid for it and Day 1 in to what will undoubtedly be, a summer for the books. Later, I sit in my car outside the garage with the money order check in hand. I close my eyes: Liz is sitting on the couch across from me, propped up on one end, her long legs crossed, nearly spanning the length of the billowed cushions. I am sitting on the couch across from her with a pillow over my lap, the same way we always sat in her office, all those years, so long ago. “Your life is like art; Like a masterpiece—your magnum opus. You will spend the entirety crafting this one piece, building it in to the greatest, most beautiful work you have ever done. Every part contributes. Every piece is vital. You are crafting the masterpiece that is, You.” I take another peak at my bus before I leave the lot and I feel Liz is somewhere, watching me, smiling.