Monday, May 9, 2016

The Megabus

Megabus between Atlanta and Chattanooga advertises itself as the low cost alternative to services like Groome so when I found myself needing to retrieve a car in Chattanooga recently, I booked a one way $10 ticket on a Wednesday, got a ride to the MARTA station downtown from a colleague, and off I went.

All told, my fare was $17: ten buck base fee, and I figured, what the hell, I’ll go for the five dollar upgrade for a front seat on the upper deck to enjoy the elevated, expansive view of a road I’ve grown so familiar with that it’s like an old frenemy. Add two bucks for “processing fee” and there we go.

Recently Chattanooga nixed the Megabus service, citing unpleasant experiences with its patrons at places like Bones Sports Bar where, it’s claimed, Megabus riders would come and just stand under awnings and not buy drinks or wings and generally just exist without economic purchase. Evidently, the benefits of low cost transportation for the city’s poorest are outweighed by commercial sloth. Nobody can seem to find a suitable place to drop off passengers that won’t create a public nuisance.

I was one of three white people on my Megabus trip. I was also reading, for the first time, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, a novel that, as an English teacher, I’ve certainly been familiar with for years, but one that I’ve never had the courage to read or teach. I’ve read other of her works (Jazz stands out as a particularly satisfying and accessible novel), but everything I’d heard about Beloved made me anxious: Faulknerian in its nonlinear plot complexity; brutal in its depictions of the slave experience; ponderous in its stylistic density. In the midst of teaching it to a group of talented seniors, I was only pages ahead of most of them on the syllabus.

Sitting on the front row, top level, of the Megabus, reading Beloved, and realizing that in all probability, most of my fellow riders had never heard of Toni Morrison and that I was further away from the experiences I was reading about than almost every other person on that bus--well, that confluence of circumstances messed with me and has kept me writing-paralyzed for weeks. I remember a scene in what I think was a Spike Lee joint in which two African American men riding a city bus were speculating that the reason that the windows on it were so large was intentional, to humiliate the passengers in front of other (white) people in their cars.

This piece I’m writing is a total wreck, an exercise in first drafting that will never birth itself as a fully formed child. But I’m shamed seeing the same post sitting on the BOTG page every time I log on, hoping or fearing that someone has posted something, anything, as a cure for the reproach staring me in the face for my inaction. Liberal white guilt, a Bernie Sanders awareness of this country’s economic injustice, lamentation for what’s happening in America’s mid sized cities, all have created a writer’s blockade of the first degree. Consider this my attempt to unclog the drain.



5 comments:

Suman Patel said...


the above content you are posted is very nice.
big boss latest news
bigg boss season 10 contestants
kapil sharma show casting
kapil sharma show wikipedia
sunny leone hd wallpaper
sunny leone husband wallpapers
good morning images free download
free good morning images download

Đẩu Anh said...

Dịch vụ vận chuyển gửi hàng từ việt nam tới Lôn-đôn giá rẻ
Công ty vận chuyển ship hàng từ việt nam tới Anh chi phí thấp
Dich vu chuyên ship hang tư viêt nam tơi Lôn-đôn

Robrt said...

nice post

ROYAL WORLD FUNDING said...

Do you need a loan to clear your debts/bills, or start up a business? Then consider your financial problems over. In today's economic climate, finding reliable funding sources can be frustrating and full of disappointments, but with our sophisticated loan repayment plan, everyone smiles home.

Email: royalworldfundings@gmail.com

Trust me we can make your financial dream come reality. Our aim is to help your business succeed.

As a small business owner, you understand that seeking a business working capital loan outside the walls of your bank is the most effective way to proceed.

max william said...

Do you need Finance?
Are you looking for Finance?
Are you looking for a money to enlarge your business?
We help individuals and companies to obtain loan for business
expanding and to setup a new business ranging any amount. Get a loan at affordable interest rate of 3%, Do you need this cash/loan for business and to clear your bills? Then send us an email now for more information contact us now via Email:maxcreditfinance@googlemail.com