Thread: Green Tea
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Old 12-12-2005, 08:41 PM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 15

Thanks for the response... Here is the rest of the story:

The next morning I walked to the bus station. I had eighty three dollars and forty four cents. The Concord to Augusta trip was $77.42 after tax. I could do it. It would be rough, but I could do it. For the degenerates, seclusion has always been the most seductive form of life.
I walked up to the counter. “Hello. Can I get a ticket for the 4:30 trip to Augusta?”
“The 4: 30 trip is…” she glanced at the screen to check the status of the afternoon bus. “Sorry, but it’s full.” Without argument or hesitation I turned around and began walking away from the ticket booth. I thought to myself that no matter how much you plan or don’t plan anything in life things like this always get in your way. These tiny little impediments always stop you from moving on.
“Hey kid,” her voice echoed. Questioningly, I pointed toward my chest. “Yeah, you.” She understood my gesture.
I strolled up towards the counter. On the glass separating us, handprints acted like fog blurring her image. All I could make out were her two buggy blue eyes. They shone through the glass and penetrated my hollowed body. She saw the ash.
“We can fit you on the 4:30 trip to Augusta,” she understood my need for perpetual motion. Her hand pushed a ticket under the glass. I reached to grab it. Our hands grazed each other. Her skin was soft and delicate and mine was, well, firm and wooden.
“I can help whoever’s next in line.” Her eyes moved over my shoulder and met the broad man standing behind me. She raised her hand gesturing that she was available to sell the man tickets. I hadn’t even paid for my ticket. She was telling me to move. She was screaming, “Go!” I took another glance at her hand. And on the tips of her fingers, I could see little pieces of ash.

For the first thirty minutes of the trip I read a Greyhound pamphlet. Apparently, it is the largest intercity bus company in North America. It was founded in Hibbling, Minnesota towards the beginning of World War I. It was all useless. These pointless facts explaining the corporation’s past did nothing for me. All that mattered was its current location. It’s perfectly designed leaping dog. The legs on that dog stretched from San Francisco Bay to Tampa Bay. Or so it seemed.
I-95 was the most beautiful road I’d ever been on. It ran almost completely parallel to the Atlantic Ocean until Brunswick. In Brunswick, the road curved almost ninety degrees north pointing straight to Mecca, straight to Augusta.
The bus stooped to refuel at Brunswick. The other passengers and I got off. We were allotted 30 minutes for rest. Most of the passengers went to the rest room or purchased some food for the remaining trip. I decided to stroll around the town of Brunswick. I wanted to experience as much as I possibly could before… well, before my ashes were gone.
The town was perfectly green. The hills all curved and complemented each other. The summer blessed this town with holy water laced with chlorophyll. A man wearing khaki shorts passed and noticed that I was staring at the overwhelming landscape. “You should really come see this town in fall.”
“Oh yeah?” I questioned.
“Of course, the leaves change colors. Reds, browns, yellows, you know fall.”
“I’d like to see that. I’ll try and make it out next fall,” I lied. I wouldn’t have time to make it out next fall.
Realizing my thirty minutes were coming to an end, I turned around. The gas station was empty. There was no comforting greyhound dog stretching its body across the metallic surface of an oversized automobile. The bus was gone. It was probably already on I-95 and heading straight up to Augusta.
I sat myself on a curb and pouted. I thought about how this was all the woman from the bus station’s fault. She sold me a faulty ticket. How could she? The ticket she printed probably wasn’t even for Augusta. She just gave me that ticket to get rid of me. But I gave her my ash. It coated her fingers. All I had was my ash. And she took it. I would have gladly paid for another ticket. Anything, I would have done anything to get to Augusta.
“Hey kid, what’s wrong?” The man wearing the khaki pants came back.
“Nothing, nothing really,” I lied again to the man.
“No, there is something wrong. What is it?” He could see through my lies.
“It’s just, it’s just. I need to do something”
“What do you mean? What do you need to do?”
“I need to move.”
“I was going to Augusta and now my bus just left”
“Do you need a phone? I could call someone”
“I don’t have anyone to call.”
“Sure you do. You have to.”
He was trying so hard to help me. But I didn’t want to call home. I couldn’t call home, not after what they did.
“Kid, kid you gotta have someone.” He kept trying.
“Don’t take this the wrong way Sir, but do you live far away?”
He paused and stared at me. His eyes studied my physical stature. His pupils were judging whether or not I was worthy of his home. He smiled, “No, not at all. Just down the street. Let’s go.” He understood me. His decision to let me into his home was swayed by my depleting ashes. He put out his hand and helped me onto my feet.
His house was a small nook. It was perfectly nestled between two towering trees. He gestured towards the trees, “I’m telling ya. You should see ‘em in fall.” Although he pointed at the trees, his hands caught my eyes. They were dry and wrinkling. They showed years of work and in the tiny little crevices of his palm there were minute pieces of ash.
The door creaked as we entered his house. “Here, let me getcha some tea.”
“No, no don’t bother.”
“Green or black?” He smiled reassuringly.
“I prefer black.”
“Good because I don’t even have green tea.” He let out a warm chuckle.
For an hour or so we sat at his kitchen table and sipped our tea. He told me stories about his son, Brian. Brian was studying at the Naval Air Station in Brunswick. He was in his third year there. Instead of interrupting with my own stories, I just let the man talk about his son. Every time he mentioned one of Brian’s accomplishments, a glimmer of light reflected in his large dark eyes. I sat there dumbfounded, watching the man spit stories from his mouth. The whole time, I could feel my ash falling all over his kitchen chair. But it didn’t really bother me, because he was different then every other forty-some year old man I’d ever known. He was happy with his position in life; he just lived alone in this cottage reading and digesting life. He wasn’t going anywhere with his life and he was fine with it.
After he was done speaking of his son, he guided me to his bedroom. In the corner was a small typewriter. He said, “I don’t even have a phone. That’s all I can offer you.” He walked out of the room.
I positioned myself and began typing. With each push of the key, ash fell from my finger and stained the manuscript.

After talking to that man, I realized that I didn’t even want to go to Augusta. I only wanted to flee Concord. I knew nothing about Augusta. It just seemed like it was the right place to go.
There is very little ash left in my wooded mannequin. But I’m not really worried about that. Because after I finish this, I’m going to walk to the post office and mail a copy to my parents. I guess they did do “the best they could”. I always felt that they were ashamed of my original status.
And after I mail a copy to my parents, I plan to leave a copy here for the old man. This is my thanks to him. I’ll ask him to make as many copies of my manuscript as he possibly can and give them to as many people as he can. He’ll help my in my final spreading of my ashes.
And you, whether a woman or a man. You’re as much as a parent as anyone else. You’ve managed to believe in me and dig through my urn. Here’s my confession to you, I created that small crack in my back. It wasn’t some delayed version of suicide, rather I making sure that my ashes were thrown in the wind and that they scattered peacefully across the earth. I know it’s my family’s job to complete that final sacrament. I just didn’t trust them. But I do trust you, so go and remember that everyone is born a wooden urn and the only thing they can do is throw their ashes at everyone they meet praying that somehow they’ll be remembered.
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