Synaesthesia Magazine Americana - Page 34

Colm Boyd

Colm Boyd

The Greyhound's Last Ride

Drive 30,000 miles and you’ll go around the circumference of the world and then some; or, you’ll have seen a fraction of America. This bus looks like it’s done a bit of both. Whatever route it took, its final stop is in the middle of a remote stretch of Colorado, in a flat, wide valley between two ridges. I clamber inside the former coach and poke amongst the cracked, chipped wood. Whatever may have once cushioned the driver’s seat has peeled away, leaving only a solid metal back, which matches the unadorned, solid metal stick that makes up the gear lever. A metal lever-handle lets the driver operate the door with a satisfying weight. The fading and flecking paint promises air-conditioning; above the driver’s seat is a fan about the size of my hand. At some point, this coach’s journey became more spiritual: its license plate reads, “Church of God In Christ”, thought it’s not clear if either of those two come visit the old girl anymore.

Everything about it is sad and forgotten. It’s not even the main, decaying attraction here. I had pulled over only because I saw the boarded up remains of a drive-in cinema. It was just by wandering around the ticket booth that I saw it, resting in the silence. When I made my way over, I disturbed some birds who were hanging out on top of the cinema screen. It feels like it shouldn’t be here. Its purpose is to be crowded, filled with all stripes of people going all sorts of places. If it had been a Greyhound in some earlier life, it would have met the mad, the bad, the lost and everyone else.

I notice something, the final mark of the truly forgotten: it’s more or less intact. There are a couple of dents, a missing headlight. But most of the windows are there and most of the damage has been caused by time. It’s too forgotten for bored teenagers and vandals. I make my way back to my car, turning the engine on to hear some comforting sound. I look at the purposeless-object that used to be a coach and get back on the road.

Colm is an Irish writer/rambler currently living in London. As a child he dreamed of living as a writer. As a child he did not have to pay rent. Now he spends most of his time working and plotting his next escape out west.