Los Angeles, the driver drawled over the cracking PA, please stay in your seats until the bus is in the terminal and thank you for riding Greyhound.
I sat erect in my seat not believing that I was finally here. Five days and nights of white lined highway/interrupted sleep/funky rest stops and an assortment of junk food for breakfast/lunch/dinner…finally in the city of the Angels. I could hardly believe it. California. The other side of the world 2300 miles from Norfolk, VA.
I felt the crush of the other passengers crowding me as I tried to pull my bag from the overhead compartment.
Damn lady! get outta the way, you’re blocking the aisle, hollered a tall guy wearing a wide brimmed Texas hat and armed with an oversized duffel bag. I half fell into my seat getting out of this pardner’s way and decided to stay put until the bus was empty. Besides it wasn’t like I had anywhere to go.
Watching the caravan of passengers: young/old/Hispanic/Black/Hollywood hopefuls, I smiled as I thought of the adventure that surely awaited me.
Five days ago, I was a book shelving library aide in a Navy town and now here I am in sunny Los Angeles California.
I checked my sock to make sure my money-all $200- was still tucked safely inside and patted the slip of paper with the name and phone number of the one person I knew..well sorta knew scrawled on it.
Brian Westbrook 215 E. 120th St. Tell him you are a friend of Phil Murray.
Actually, I wasn’t a friend of Phil Murray. I was a friend of Phil’s girlfriend Stella. She had introduced me to Phil at a party about two weeks ago.
High on something, I remember Stella dragging me over to him from the safety of my corner.
Yeah baby, this is Maya. She’s on her way to Cali.
His red eyes gave away his condition.
Oh yeah, how you doing Maya. I’m from LA. You from there? No. Oh yeah, you got family out there? No. A job? No. Then why you going?
Struggling to make sense in my own altered state, I replied. Well, I just want to see what the other side of the country looks like..check out the Pacific. See what life is like somewhere other than here. Is there something wrong with that?
No sister..don’t get defensive. I mean I love it there. Can’t wait to get back there myself. It’s just not often I hear about too many sisters going out there alone without any family or anything.
Well, I guess I ain’t your ordinary sister.
The weed was making my tongue bold and I could feel Stellas’s eyes on me warning me to be cool.
That’s what’s wrong with you so called revolutionary brothers. You don’t think a black woman can do anything without a man.
Hold on sister. I didn’t say anything was wrong with it. Hmph, I mean you got guts going out to L.A. all by your lonesome. Especially now after the riots and all.
Stella was giving me this uneasy look. I guess she thought I was getting too much attention from her man.
Just then the DJ began playing Treat her like a Lady and I started looking around for someone to dance with.
Hey, wait a minute. Here’s the name of my best friend. Call him when you get there and tell him I said to look out for you.
I took the slip of paper, smiled sweetly and stuffed it in my bellbottom jeans pocket.
Now, I’m the kinda guy that treats a woman with the utmost respect.
My mind was filled with the thumping sounds of the Main Ingredients as I jerked my way out on the dance floor.
Well, things are looking up. LA bound and now I got somebody I can call when I get there. Who said HE doesn’t take care of fools and babies?
copyright 2019. Book Available soon on Kindle.