When you ride Greyhound, strangers offer you booze out of plastic bottles and illegal drugs and sometimes sexual favors. I once saw a young woman work the same fellow for a couple hundred miles, getting lunch and sodas and attention from him all the way across Texas, only to be picked up by her girlfriend in El Paso.
When you ride Greyhound, you get to see paroled prisoners in county issue suits, newly free again, dig into huge fast food meals. They suck down milkshakes and gobble hamburgers and seldom look straight at anyone. Out west, authorities pull the bus over and go down the row asking names and where you were born, and lord help you if there's some Spanish in your English. When you ride Greyhound, you watch old men in sheepswool-lined denim jackets get pulled off and herded into trailers set up in dusty pull offs, left behind as we roll back onto the highway.
When you ride Greyhound at night through the desert, far off towns become stars in an ink spill sky. I could never go into space, because that feeling of tumbling through the void while cold lights blink at you and the only thing louder than your breathing is the engine keeping you aloft scared me witless until I opened my eyes to the dawn chasing us.
When you ride Greyhound, everything is further away than you think.