On A Bus, 6 Hours And Counting to Montreal


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December 7th 2009
Published: April 21st 2010
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Monday, December 7, 2009. 8:52am.

I’m sitting in a greyhound bus destined for Montreal.

Today was supposed to be the start of the best winter break of my life. 8 days with my girlfriend in Montreal. 4 weeks in NYC. I had just finished the hardest semester of my life and I had absolutely no work ahead of me for a month and a half. I had just won a huge scholarship so I would have a positive bank balance and zero debt for the first time in my life.

Just the thought of 8 days with my girlfriend was enough to make me ecstatic. I love her. Loved.

Greyhound has upped their fleet. Now every seat comes with power outlets and the bus has Wifi. The seats are leather. It’s surprising. Greyhound is a piece of shit. When I get off at 4:50, I would tell her all about it if there were a lull in the conversation. Would’ve.

There wouldn’t have been a lull anyway. We hadn’t seen each other in 2 months; there was so much to talk about. And even if there was a silence, just being close to her was enough. Just sitting in the Metro from the bus terminal to her house. Sneaking a kiss if we thought no one was watching. Leaning our heads on our shoulders. Holding hands. We don’t need to talk. Didn’t.

I haven’t written in awhile. I have a folder on my desktop: Writing. In it is split into three subfolders: Blog, Rap, Real Writing. The Blog folder hasn’t been touched since November 15. I’ve repeated it many times on this blog. I can’t write when I’m happy. And I am happy. Was.

Even if I wanted to write, schoolwork at graduate school has led me to a life of complete study. I’m at the library with my classmates everyday until 3am at the earliest. I get home 30 minutes later, stumbling around in the dark in sleep deprivation. And even though I want nothing more than to crash onto my bed and never wake up, I flip open my laptop and turn on Skype. She’s always waiting and immediately calls me. It takes Skype two seconds to start up, one second to start the call and another to get the video synced. Her face appears on my screen, and for the first time in the day, my weary face jumps into a smile the same time hers does. We talk sometimes for ten minutes as we both struggle to keep the dialogue going through hooded eyes and addled, sleep-deprived minds. Sometimes we speak for over two hours, getting lost in our conversation until the morning sun peeks through our shades and reminds us of the time. But everynight, we always speak. Spoke.

The one or two times in a month I’m not living in the library, I jump on the chance to go out with my classmates and we drink ourselves into a stupor to relieve the mounting stress of intensive study. This is the only free time I have. Usually I get blackout drunk then when I get home, I drunk-Skype my girlfriend to tell her how much I love her, how much I miss her, how much she means to me. She reciprocates when she gets drunk. Sometimes we’re both drunk, and both of us stumble around our words, both of us trying to describe our emotions. These are the best moments. Were.

Two nights ago, Saturday December 5, was one of these nights. Our finals had finished, our final projects had been handed in and my classmates and I suddenly had no work. We all met in AM’s house and we started pounding drinks with impunity. I blacked out. Apparently at the bar I smashed a bottle of Bud over a guy’s head because he dissed Japan. I don’t remember. At some point I made it home and we Skyped. We talked. We talked. And we talked. The conversation turned to the summer. The summer between us meeting in the spring and getting together in the Fall.

She told me her story. After our separation, she became insanely depressed and her whole life revolved around staying up at absurd hours in Montreal to MSN with me over in Japan. We talked everyday. She heard how depressed I was with my situation in Japan and she sent me a letter. A week later, she received a letter from me. It was coolly detached. She cried and didn’t stay up the next day to talk to me. Nor the next day. Or the next. Or the next.

For two months she hadn’t talked to me, and she was doing better. As someone with enormous pride and self-confidence, she couldn’t understand why her life had suddenly revolved around a skinny Japanese kid who dressed liked ghetto trash for two months. Now that she had cut off relations with me, she slowly started getting back to her life before she met me. Focusing on herself.

But then one day in late August, when I had already flown from Japan to NYC and from NYC to Pittsburgh, she heard from our mutual friend Matchmaker that I was thinking of visiting Montreal. She suddenly got a rush of emotions and from then on, started talking to me again and when my plans for visiting Montreal came up, she asked me to stay at her apartment.

She cried through the entire story. She turned off her webcam when she talked about my letter and it remained off for the rest of the conversation. She barely made it through her story, but she said she wanted to tell it all to me.

I listened to it largely in silence. I told her a few times to stop if she couldn’t do it, then later encouraging her to continue. I caught myself crying at one point, not understanding how I could be crying. I was a 22 year old male from New York City. We’re not supposed to cry. I was supposed to be a rock-solid asshole.

There was a long silence after she finished. She asked me about my feelings that summer and I started talking.

Separating from her had been one of the toughest moments of my life. I had been insanely depressed, and my jobless, financial insecurity hadn’t helped matters. Our talks on MSN hadn’t helped either as my longings for her intensified. I had gone to Japan with the original intention of maybe going after Chiaki but I had booked my ticket way before I had met Miss KO. Now I was sitting in my grandmother’s house, hunched over my laptop, talking over MSN.

My life was spiraling further and further into depression and then suddenly I got a letter. A letter from Miss KO, attempting to cheer me up.

I cried.

I cried because it was the nicest thing that anyone had ever done for me. I cried because I had been insanely depressed for a month and a half and needed a trigger to cry. I cried because all my emotions for her came flying out.

I immediately wrote a sloppy, emotion-filled reply, my wet hands smudging my chicken-scratch handwriting, the paper becoming see-thru.

It was a Saturday in mid-July when I wrote my reply. I sealed the letter in an envelope and raced to the post office. It was closed. Saturday and Sunday the post office is closed in Kawasaki. The Yokohama office is open until 3pm today. It was 2:50, I ran to a taxi and handed him basically all the money I had in my name, as I had no money to speak of. I got there 3:10, the post office closed. I took the train home, then walked from station to home, dejected, the envelope barely staying in my loosened grip.

I woke up the next day, more in control of my emotions after the first deep sleep I had in Japan. We hadn’t even kissed. We had hugged all of two times. We had known each other for 5 days, maybe 48 hours combined. What the fuck was I doing?

I wrote her another letter, thanking her profusely but muting my emotions. I talked to her that day on MSN as well, but making sure to keep my emotions under control.

I sent it out on Monday. We kept talking on MSN until the end of the week and then she disappeared and never appeared online.

I had never connected my letter to her disappearing. In my mind, it was a one-way thing. True, in May we had something…but with an ocean between us and a few months without seeing each other, she had sobered up. She had found someone else, she had realized I wasn’t worth even talking to, her interest had waned.

I tail-spinned even further into depression. I had lost her. As a tonic to force myself to move on, I decided to go after Chiaki. If you remember, the first date I had with Chiaki was mid-July, a full month and a half after I arrived in Japan. I knew I didn’t have a chance with her (read Teddy’s entry on why I knew this), I just needed something to keep me occupied.

I got rejected by Chiaki in mid-August, flew to NYC, drove to Pittsburgh and realized how boring Pittsburgh was. I told a few friends I was thinking of visiting them in Montreal and then suddenly she started talking to me again. I was surprised and more than euphoric. Then, mid-semester, I finally found a small window of free time and flew to Montreal to visit her.

There was a long silence. “Hey, you still there?” No reply. She had probably passed out or was too distraught to talk. I left her a few messages, then lay wide awake, my mind churning through both of our stories.

I finally rolled out of bed at 2pm, having not slept at all, fighting a huge headache from sleep deprivation and a hangover, trying to pack for my bus to NYC. I finally managed to pack by around 6 and then sat around, kicking it with a few of my friends. We had managed to survive a semester, at least until grades were released. We ended up eating dinner out to celebrate then returned to my house. AM was going to drive me to the bus terminal.

At ten pm, a message appeared in my Bookface inbox. From my girlfriend. A long message, but the underlying thoughts were short. Stuff has come into focus after our discussion last night. I remember how hurt I was. I realized now how quick you could go after someone else. It makes me sick to think that you could be going out with her if she hadn’t of rejected you. I need to break up with you.

I sat there in shock and all talk slowly ceased around me. After this it just blurred. I tried calling her, over and over and over, and she didn’t answer and then her phone went straight to voicemail and then AM was dragging me to his car, telling me I was going to miss my bus, and in line at the bus terminal Teddy called and I tried working out what was going on and then on the 6 hr bus ride, I was seated next to a Pitt varsity basketball player who awkwardly ignored me and then tried to console me as I cried and cried and endlessly repunched her number into my phone…I walked in a daze from the NYC bus terminal and ended up walking the 8 miles to my house instead of taking the subway, then went straight to my bed and lay there, wide awake, trying desperately to contact her.

Wrecked, my mind came up with a conclusion. Find her. Talk to her. Figure out what is going on.

And now I’m sitting in a bus. It is 10:40, 6 hours until my bus arrives in Canada. Secretly, a part of me hopes she’ll be there, patiently waiting. But I know her. I know she won’t be at the bus terminal waiting for me. I called up D-German last minute and asked if I can leave my luggage at his house and he of course agreed, no questions asked, because he is a good friend. And then I plan to go to her apartment. She will not let me in. I know this. I know because I know her better than anyone in the world. Knew.

Since she won’t let me in, I’ll have to stand outside her door. And wait. And wait. And wait. She’ll know I’m standing outside her door. Not because she can hear me through the walls or because she can see me through the walls, but because she knows me better than anyone else in this world. Because she loves me. Loved.

When we planned my trip to Canada, when we were still happily in love, we agreed I should leave on the 16th because that’s when she’ll leave to Vancouver. I’m willing to stand outside her door, for 8 straight days, with no food, no water, to have a chance to talk to her as she goes to the airport. She doesn’t know this, and will assume I will resignedly leave after a few nights. She doesn’t know this because she doesn’t know how much she hurt me. How she wrenched out my heart. How she literally destroyed me. All this pain, but still willing to try and give her a chance to change her mind, to explain, to tell me something, to give me a chance, to…anything other than this disgusting way she just threw me to the curb. Because I love her. Loved.

No, present tense. Love.

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21st April 2010

I enjoyed your Canada post. I have always wanted to go there. My blog is looking for travel photos. If you have the time, email us some at dirtyhippiesblog@gmail.com or check us out at dirty-hippies.blogspot.com Continued fun on your travels, Eric

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