Noises came from the back of the bus throughout the night. Cell phones, laptops and voices all mixed together as the old Greyhound made it’s way down the two lane highways of the Midwest; cutting through fog and black skies, temperatures dropping, red taillights playing follow the leader, cigarette butts bouncing on pavement.

He was so sure he’d be home at a decent time; that was hours ago when the bus left Chicago in the afternoon; traffic, weather, road work, orange cones lined along interstates and backroads making cars and old pickups come to a standstill; drivers were in a prevent defense mode.

The old man kept his eyes locked on the darkness outside. One eye would begin to shut and then the other. His salt and pepper hair leaned on the headrest. He was just about out when from the back of the bus came loud rap music being played in a tin can sound. Both brown eyes would open and anger was all that he felt; rage towards the black kids in the back for playing their music so loud; crazed thoughts crossed his mind.

There was no peace. The loudness kept coming in waves. He wanted to stand up and tell them to turn it down, to keep their mouths shut, follow the rules, but, he couldn’t. Something was preventing him from taking a stand. Something was telling him to take it, just take it. His heart pounded, stomach turned, and tears came down his face. He was outnumbered. And, he knew it.

This common man no longer had strength. He no longer felt as if everything was going to be OK in America. This old man was beat. He began to weep as the rap music played louder and the voices in the dark from the back of the bus yelled out profanities; words dribbled in the dark.

It was over, he said to himself. It was over. The bus stopped and the driver announced,Cleveland. He was home. Off the bus he flew, never turning back to look at it. It was over. And, he knew he was defeated.

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