Womon in Eureka

31 July 2007

I left Santa Cruz yesterday on a Greyhound bus. About ten hours later I arrived in Arcata. It is quite possible that I’ve left for good and Alaska will be my new home. Like most of the recent events in my life, I have not processed my departure. Once again, I’ve made a hasty decision. Maybe I will move slower when I’m older and (hopefully) wiser.

The bus ride was typical for Greyhound. The passengers were working class and poor, intermittent with a few unsuspecting Europeans. In Oakland I transferred to a bus where I sat next to a pregnant womon, who appeared to be in her late thirties. But it is often hard to tell the age of poor people, whose face and hands are wrought with years of hard experience. She held a plastic bag filled with cookies, Doritos, Taco Bell. She wore fake nails painted a shiny pastel purple. At every stop she apologized for asking me to move my legs, got off the bus and took a few drags off a cigarette, which she snuffed out and placed in her coin purse. I watched her from the window. I watched her stare at the side of the bus without blinking.

I thought about her as ten hours passed by in an instant. I thought about the life I just left behind, the pending telephone call, worried about the possibility of my misdemeanor hindering my passage through Canada or having all of the money I own, roughly $300, get stolen. I’ve since decided to keep my ID, social security card and twenty dollar bills in my shoe.

The womon on the bus frequently spoke on her cell phone with a man named Larry. “I’m carrying your child, Larry,” she repeated.

“You were trapped?

Well, I’m not raising this child alone, Larry and I’m sure as hell not giving it up for adoption. That should tell you the direction I’m goin’ in.

I’ve thought long and hard about this.

You’re not going to have to worry about child support or anything like that.

What? Fifty dollars a month like you give your other child? No thanks.

I will not have a baby asking me where her daddy is, like Aurora does for you now.”

Somewhere after Willits enough people got off so that I could move to a pair of empty seats, giving us both some space. At the stop in Eureka I was so occupied in my thoughts that I didn’t notice her get off until it was too late. I wanted to say goodbye or at least or tell her that whatever choices she makes for her life, it is going to be okay. I suppose I need to believe that for myself first.


1 Response to 'Womon in Eureka'

  1. Wes Modes
    http://www.spooncafejournal.org/2009/12/womon-in-eureka.html?showComment=1270971111458#c7336711996189789985'> April 11, 2010 at 12:31 AM

    And day by day it sounds like you are finding it is okay. Oh, kiss baby Liam for me. Tell him his daddy loves him.


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