Making It Back To Philly
The poem “Making it Back to Philly”, and accompnaying artwork from Abigail Bruley appears in full in the Chinatown Bus Stories Chapbook: “Stories and illustrations of adventure, tragedy and lives in transit”.
You can have your stodgy laws, your insular morals and your god damn dignity, ‘cause I’m getting a cheap ride to New York and back at any hour I choose.
The bathroom smell is making you sick? It’s probably a Thursday and they only clean on Mondays. Duh. Everyone knows that.
Your seatmate has decided to use her bus trip to pick all those fights she wanted to pick over the phone? They’re called headphones.
Your driver missed the exit by a mile and is driving backwards on the turnpike? It’s called efficiency. You’ll still make good time.
(And if he wants to pull the bus over so he can sit at a road-side table to eat his sandwich slowly while everyone in the hot, crowded bus watches in pain, you’re going to keep your mouth shut and deal because do you know how much Amtrak costs?)
Sure, you’ll see pregnant women pushed over by men in a violent scramble to board the bus first and the same men will begin to line up in the center aisle miles away from the stop to get off the bus first, but, it’s best I’m the one to tell you: Some discounted bus-fare clientele are simply just more important than you. So, get over yourself.
Sometimes you’ll want to get drunk on the bus and realize not only is it allowed, it’s encouraged. And sometimes, in one of those inebriated states, you’ll make out with a celebrity in that vile bathroom, see the beautiful blue patina of the Ben Franklin Bridge and sigh, because you beat the odds and damned the man and made it back to Philly.