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The summer of 2002 – Guest post by Monica Hamburg July 26, 2008

Posted by Raul in Blogathon 2008, personal life.
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This post was contributed by the always lovely Monica Hamburg, who blogs amongst other places, at Me Like the Interwebs

The summer of 2002 was a rough one. I had always prided myself on being someone who could hold it together no matter how I felt. Put a good face, on, be perky and. all. that. jazz. No matter what.

But finally, it all hit me. My insomnia was worse than ever before. And I knew why: I was working a go nowhere job, not being able to make my acting career work – I felt like a tremendous failure. I had recently gotten out of a relationship, still had no enduring friendships and I felt very, very alone.

And lonely. Awfully lonely.

It wasn’t fun to realize I wasn’t holding it together. I needed to get out of town and fast. My best friend was living in LA at the time. Vancouver to LA is a quick plane ride, but I was broke and so a Greyhound would do.

By my splendid math/geography calculations the bus ride would be about 6 hrs. Yeah 8pm to 2.

‘Course it was really 8pm one day to like 2pm 2 days later, but ya know, by the time I realized that I really really wanted to go (oh, this was the 2nd time I had made this kind of error – the first being a Greyhound from New York to Minneapolis that lasted way longer than a human being need suffer).

I got on the bus, burnt, almost so tired of it all that I couldn’t feel the excitement that came with the anticipation of being somewhere different. The first hint that I had made the wrong choice with my method of transportation was the scruffy guy who sat next to me and promptly told me he had been dumped by his girlfriend. Then he said how he thought about killing everyone around him and then himself.

Yeah, this was going to be fun.

I had never taken the school bus as a child, but from TV & films I got a pretty good sense of what the horror was like.

This. Was. Worse.

Shouting, freaked out, pissed off people were the norm.

To make things extra fun, the bus stopped in every single small town, to refuel, pick up passengers, or generally make up a reason to turn on the bus lights and create some sort of sleep-deprivation exercise.

6hrs in: My homicidal/suicidal seatmate gets off. Happy trails.

He is replaced by a big biker guy who just got on. Perfect, I think, this’ll suck.

The Biker offers me some Nutter Butters. Awww. We’re friends now & life is good again.

10hrs in:
The man behind me begins to bark. Then laugh manically. Then bark, bark, bark. Finally the Biker turns around and tells him he’ll cut his balls off if he doesn’t stop. A blissful silence ensues.

20hrs in:
We stop at a “terminal” somewhere in California. I go to the public bathroom. There is the very obvious sound of a person “evacuating their bowels”. A woman walks in and says (excitedly, I swear!) “Oh yeah! Go for it, baby! It’s nice to have that good morning shit!”

Please please please can I be in LA, already?!!!

26 hrs in:
We have a new bus driver. Telling jokes. Wonderful. Unfortunately there is also a clued-out Eastern European woman responding to the rhetorical questions:

Bus Driver: Why do men always have the remote control? Woman: Because it is usually near them on the table.
Or
Bus Driver: What’s the difference between a woman and LA? Woman: Well, one is a person and the other a city.

Something like 42hrs later, the bus arrives in LA.

I feel dirty, gritty and more like a cockroach than I have ever felt before.

But I’m here. Finally.

Let the games begin.

Monica Hamburg is a social media evangelist and blogs, amongst others, at

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