My wacky friend Steve Cotton lives by choice on a Mexican beach in the sweltering heat which, in itself, illustrates his wackiness. He’s a talented writer, so check out his blog.
Recently, he flew around the world, which is an interesting thing on the face of it, but he did it oddly. Except for two plane changes in which he did not leave the airports in Tokyo and Dubai, the trip consisted entirely of sitting on the plane. That’s it, two days in the air.
Sitting. Go figure.
His long trip reminded me of something similar I did in 1964. I too sat in a steel tube, but it traveled from Los Angeles to New York City. Instead of Steve’s two days, my trip lasted four. Steve’s trip seems to have had no purpose aside from flying around the world.
My trip’s purpose was to see an 18-year-old Jewish Princess hottie in New York City. Her name was Janie Friedman, and we’d been an item in high school. I was in looove.
Unlike Steve’s cushy, Business Class accommodations, I had a standard seat on a Greyhound bus. There was no stewardess, and there were no onboard meals with cloth napkins and a fresh tulip.
We stopped at diners to eat and stretch our legs.
Unlike Steve’s extensive planning (one supposes), I did no planning whatsoever. I did not even think to take a toothbrush onboard. It was stashed in my luggage below. I spent those four days unbathed in the same duds, same underwear, same everything.
Looove inspires madness.
But it was an interesting ride from the southwestern corner of America to the northeastern. We went through deserts and plains and farmlands. Some cities too though I don’t recall which ones. In the middle of the night near Pittsburgh, the bus broke down, and we sat a spell in the dark till a replacement arrived.
It was my first and lengthiest visit to New York City. I stayed four nights in a cheap hotel near the Manhattan bus station.
In the mid-1970s, I returned briefly to New York City en route to Europe, and I’ve never returned.
The reunion with Janie was a disappointment. She had moved beyond me, and I realized we were not to be. I hopped another Greyhound down to Nashville where my parents were living, and life continued thereafter from one misstep to the next.
(Note: I addressed this trip from another angle over three years ago in a post titled The New York City Adventure.)