wantin’ to go…

he used to walk into the Greyhound station everyday to get an orange soda…people seated in chairs…on the ground…some with duffel bags and suitcases while others were just leavin’ town with nothin’ but the clothes on their backs…he’d see old men smokin’ cigarettes and watchin’ the boards…waitin’ for their bus numbers to come up on the screen…far destinations a long…long way from here…goin’ to places like New York…Los Angeles…Pittsburgh…Phoenix…some visiting relatives while others were just movin’ on in life…settin’ up in some other town like in West Virginia or some place down South…Tennessee…Arkansas…a handful of Mexicans goin’ down to Dallas…try their luck down there after migratin’ from state to state…workin’ on farms and in factories for little pay…more than they got in their home country…mailin’ money to wives and aunts and uncles and grandmothers…sisters and brothers…stockin’ cash away to buy ranches and small farms…the American dream realized…for some…for some…

and he’d spend hours in that bus terminal…watchin’ people eat fried chicken and hot dogs…drink coffee while bums sought out a buck or two from weary travelers and crazies picked up butts…stashin’ ’em in worn out sport coats…pockets full of debris…half eaten bags of Fritos they’d picked out of the garbage…beer cans wrapped in brown paper bags…plastic bottles strewn the streets…

all night long he’d watch people…keepin’ his mouth shut when men would yell at women…hustlers would hustle…and pimps would be on the prowl…just sit back and watch…look at families huggin’ each other as they got off the busses…dad’s kissin’ daughters home from college…an Army grunt settin’ foot back in his home town after seein’ parts of the world he’d never talk ’bout…actions committed he’d never forget…

he’d watch people with tickets in their hands…leavin’ town…never to come back…slappin’ the road like it was an old friend on the back and thankin’ him for bein’ there…and like all the rest of ’em…he was wantin’ to leave as well…go off and explore…leave mom and dad behind…live off Pop Tarts and orange soda…never followin’ rules…never doin’ anything he didn’t have to do…pickin’ up odd jobs and driftin’ ‘cross country for the rest of his life…

wantin’ to go…he was wantin’ to go…

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