Lying South

I didn’t start out to be a liar. I had been in college when my boyfriend returned to New England, from California, partway through the semester. I went from having a high GPA at midterm to reaching the depth of point something, something, something at semester’s end. Academic probation was my immediate future. The family profession is education. You can only imagine a fraction of the disappointment. Formal education is an exercise in tenacity, not a virtue. Adventure summoned.

I had missed class in the name of love. At the end of the scallop season my diving boyfriend moved to New Orleans to work in the offshore oilfield. I moved to another town and got an apartment and a job, pining away all the while. While there was communication between us, life was at a standstill. So I lied.

I said that I was moving to Florida with some of my college friends. It didn’t seem productive for us to keep in touch. He called my mother. My mother called me. He called me. I took a Greyhound bus to New Orleans. I stopped for 3 days in NYC to visit my aunt, who lived with her husband near Harlem while he got his PhD at Columbia. Blah, blah, blah, “wasted potential” blah, blah, blah.

As we drove south, more and more black patrons boarded the bus. It was exciting and I loved it. In Charleston, I was brushing my teeth in the depot restroom. A crazy woman shrieked at me, “Stop brushing my teeth! Don’t brush my teeth no more! Stop now, ya hear?!” I stopped.

Outside Pensacola, I began to notice signs for PoBoys; I wondered what they were.


About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
This entry was posted in Autonomy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Lying South

  1. On My Square says:

    When I was still doing comedy, I wrote a bit about taking the Greyhound through Florida. Scary, but one of the great experiences in my life!!! When we stopped off to pick up passengers at some Country Store and I saw a van door open up with a guy stepping out carrying a clear plastic bag of his belongings get handed an envelope from the driver… it was not until they slid the van door shut and I saw “FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS” did I realize what was going on. Then he got on and saw two people he knew! Great trip!

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