I got a driver's license after promising the driving instructor that I would never actually use it since I was moving to Japan the following week. He begrudgingly agreed to allow me to pass after putting so many restrictions on my license I'd need to wait for self-driving cars to become a thing. During breaks in university, I would take a Greyhound bus to my friend's house in rural Missouri. Greyhound managed to make a normally one hour trip into a three hour ordeal. I remember one spring break I got on the bus to discover two men who had just been released from prison were also traveling with me. I found this out when the smaller of the two began reading a letter from the parole officer and the bus got so quiet you could hear a man pissing in the toilet in the back of the bus. The smaller man looked young enough to be 18 or 19. He read the letter slowly, careful not to overlook any of the words as if the legal language was a secret code that needed deciphering. The older of the two looked about 23 or 24 years-old And did not seemed concerned about the letter at all. In fact, it was raining on his homecoming parade. "Man, when we get to Kansas city, we are going to party! I know some girls, we can stay with my friend who can hook us up. I will show you a good time." I could tell he was not from Kansas City because when the bus stopped twice in Kansas City, Kansas and then a few minutes later in Kansas City, Kansas. The older one hollered, "Why are we stopping twice in the same shithole?!" to no one in particular. We Kansas City people knew it was to stem the flow of everyone fixing to leave shithole that is Kansas City. It Friday, about three o'clock in the afternoon when the older one said, "Put that letter down. Man, we are out! Enjoy it! Like I said, I'm going to call my friend and we are going to party all weekend." The younger one carefully considered his words and then looked back at the letter. "But it says here that we need to call our parole officer as soon as we reach our destination." "Nah, man. They mean to call them during business hours. It's Friday for fuck's sake, we'll give them a call on Monday. "The bus was so quiet even the never ending stream of piss stopped to hear what was going to happen next. The young one, staring at his letter from the parole officer, carefully considered his older and "wiser" friend's advice as the rest of us held our breath. A few long seconds later, the younger one said, "That sounds good to me." as he haphazardly folded the parole officer's letter and shoved it in his pocket like it was a receipt from McDonald's. It was then that everyone else on the bus let out an audible "aww" wondering if the poor sons of bitches would be back in jail on Monday or even earlier. For years I've wondered if the younger one wised up and eventually got better friends. Can you get "better friends" in prison or will he have to rely on one of those women infatuated by men in jail to befriend him via letter. I imagine if he were to get such a letter he would go to the older one for what would turn out to be terrible advice that he would heed. " How do I get her to fall in love with me?" "Hit her" "How can I get her to notice me?" "Ignore and then beat her. Chicks love a challenge" What am I going to do for money when I get out?" "Spend hers" I see him in my minds eye carefully meditating the advice before closing up the letter in his hands while saying, "Sounds good to me."
I’m Spring Day (real name, hippie parents)
Moving back to the United States after having lived in Japan and traveling the world for 16 years has been a bit of a head fuck, especially since I now work in the U.K. My blog “The United States of Shock!” is where I give my brilliant and bitter two cents, pence, yen and euro on my experience with culture shock and current events. If you have any questions you would like to have answered in a snit, email them to email@example.com