Monday, June 7, 2010

Susquehana Mama

As my life has been abundant with travels far and wide, it is only appropriate I chronicle my recent bus trip to Mill Way, PA. Dazed from my recent return and departure from Indiana, reeling from matters of lost luggage (now found) and mixed-up sublets (now straightened out), I made my way to the Port Authority Bus Terminal early Sunday morning, ready to embark on my theatrical journeys. The trip began in tranquil fashion, a grand total of three of us departing from New York (though others would soon join). I adjusted my pillows, spread my legs and blanket, and settled into my seat for the 7+ hour trip, luckily finding sleep as we traveled westward. As the morning gave way to noontime, our bus became more and more populated, weary travelers making their way through New Jersey and Pennsylvania. After about 4 hours on the bus, a toothless wonder I have deemed the Susquehanna Mama, mounted the bus and soon after launched into one of the more impressive monologues I have given witnessed. After approaching the bus driver to ensure that she was indeed in the right place, she made her entrance, clad in tank top, pony tail, bitchin' sunglasses, and even a sweater wrapped around her shoulders (a lady after all). Immediately attaching herself to the young gentleman seated behind her (thank God I was asleep or adequately "disinterested looking"), she began telling him the better part of her life story. Toothless mouth a flapping, she modeled the great finds she had recently purchased at the local CVS, little things to help her kids know they love them. Who knew one's love of the Dollar Store could run so deep? Hey, she may not be perfect, but she does what she can to be a good mom! "You don't got a girlfriend, do you? Mind if I call you sometime? I don't got too many friends, you know, and I get along better with guys. I mean I ain't got no man or anything, I mean my baby-daddy, but he's not really in the picture, so it's not a big deal. Now, here's my married name, but sometimes I go by my maiden name as well. So, if I call you, you aren't gonna pretend you don't know me, right?" It was then that I realized I was coming dangerously close to West Virginia. Toto, we are not in the city anymore. Apparently her ticket was being for via the hospital (???), but my fellow horrified city clicker dramatist and I were not able to accurately piece together that aspect of her story. It was only after our talking traveler left that I dared look at her unlucky victim. A look of relief and wonder spread across his face, indicating that he indeed did not know this woman, nor would he be calling her anytime soon (apparently he gave her a wrong number as well - ballsy). Now, how did he get so instantly friendly with this Appalachian Amazon. Smoking. One shared cigarette led to what would undoubtedly be one of the more terrifying experiences of my life. Remember kids, smoking kills. The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful, our bus making it to the Williamsport station before transferring on to Lock Haven. Along the way, we did pick up a couple of other theatre gypsies, one director, two carpenters, an electrician, and one actor (me) in total. Now, here I am, in the mountains, in the middle of nowhere, energies completely focused on theatre for the first time since school. Strange faces soon becoming familiar, who knows what tales I will have to tell about my new company/family and the show we are contracted to create.

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