NOTES FROM BEHIND THE FAT GUY ON THE GREYHOUND BUS FROM MAINE TO MEXICO CITY

(10/20/1993)

 

DAY ONE:

 

Boarded the bus at 10:30 AM.  Boarded the correct bus at 10:34 – I thought there was something fishy about those nuns.  I am seated by an extremely large man. He smells like English Leather and beef tongue.  I had a successful bowel movement about mid-afternoon. There was no dinner stop, our driver is a crack addict.

 

My fellow passengers are hungry but our sunken-eyed, shaking driver, Merv, refused to stop, screaming; “I’ve got to meet my connection by 7!!”

 

Then he coughed and stared out the window at the highway – and I think he drooled a little.

 

7:00 Merv made his connection and seems placid.

 

The fat man is quickly becoming popular. His carry-on bag is filled to bursting with Hostess snacks, bags of chips and cans of meat. Wisely he is charging money.

 

We ride on through the night.

 

DAY TWO:

 

I woke to the crack of Dawn. I didn’t know who she was at first but eventually she introduced herself and I politely asked Dawn to get off my face. She obliged, our good time over.

 

By mid-morning we reached Illinois. Again there was no stopping and no slowing down. Merv alerted us over the public address system that he was meeting another connection in Tulsa that night.

 

The fat guy has reached folk hero status. His kind, jovial face lights up at the sight of another starving bus rider forking over money for Ding-Dongs and beef jerky. I heard him mumble something about getting off the bus in Mexico skinny and rich. I think he might do it.

 

Miraculously we make it to Tulsa in time. While the bus careens ever forward at 95 miles an hour and Merv steers with his knees while smoking his crack pipe – the passengers begin whispering and planning ways to end Merv. They are also trying to keep all the kids still because they are bouncing around, riding the high from living on Twinkies for two days.

 

We all fall asleep, dreaming of Merv dead and  the bus still and unmoving.

 

DAY THREE

 

We rapidly approached the Mexican border as day broke.

 

Suddenly the fat guy snapped. The constant motion and cramped quarters finally got to be too much and he flipped out.

 

He heaved his sweaty body to the front of the bus. We all sat stunned, in awe as he grabbed Merv and bodily dragged him from the driver seat screaming “I can’t take it any more!!”

 

He slammed Merv’s face into the windshield and no one was driving anymore. The bus swerved dramatically and teetered. We all grabbed for something to hold on to as she toppled over onto her side and slid along the road, smashing through the guard post.

 

Battered, but all right, the passengers scrambled out of the bus onto the sun-bleached Mexican highway. There we saw Merv and the fat man fighting on the edge of a cliff.

 

I started to run, Dawn close behind me, but time seemed to stand still.

 

The fat man pulled the wasted driver into a crushing bear-hug, but they both lost footing. I screamed but it was too late.  They toppled off the precipice together.

 

Dawn and I stared over the edge of the cliff into the dust. There was no movement. Nothing.

 

Mid-Afternoon:  A Legend Is Born.