When we got to Cleveland station, we had about 8 hours to kill, so I called up as many friends as possible to find out if there was someone that could show us around town. My efforts proved to be futile. With five dollars between the three of us, we head out to dig this new city. It was around 6pm when we hit downtown. You wouldn’t think so. It reminded me of a zombie movie. We were standing in the middle of what should have been a very busy intersection, but was completely desolate. Granted, there was a huge snow storm the night before, it still seemed strange that there wouldn’t be a car or a person in site in downtown Cleveland at 6pm. Two dudes eventually walked by us and asked us for cigarettes, but we said we didn’t have any. So they replied, “Alright, well you guys be careful.” When you locals tell you to be careful, you know you’re pretty fucked. we saw a city map down the way and we checked it out. Nothing noteworthy. I noticed that there was a Chinatown somewhere, and we asked a passer-by if he knew where it was. He said that he’d lived in Cleveland all his life and never heard of a Chinatown. Reassuring. We head straight back to the station.
After documenting my experiences of the day through pen-scribblings in my handy, ostentatious moleskine, I sat near John while waiting for our bus to leave. The man who sat in between us, John told me before hand, was also on his way to Minnesota. John said he reminded him of Seth Rogen. I couldn’t imagine what that entailed, but he was stunningly accurate. Everything down to his mannerism was Rogen-esque. He said he was a chainsaw sculptor who is going to MN for a court date. Interesting. half an hour before the bus was scheduled to leave, we moved to the gate. We sat just ahead of these mexican landscape artists who we struck up a conversation with. One man in particular seemed to be the spokesman, and had some very interesting stories to tell. We each shared our crazy stories of our trip thus far and touched upon some very profound philosophical topics. Never be afraid to talk to people. You’d be surprised at how much you can learn from everyone you meet along your frantic walk of life, O Humble Reader..
Chicago. The first thing I see entering the station is a group of people being restrained by police officers. This is going to be an interesting visit. Luckily, our next bus was to leave about an hour and a half after we arrived. We stood in line at the gate and met with this wonderful Jamaican man with a thick accent. I unfortunately forgot his name (edit: Courtney), but regardless, we all had a wonderfully sophisticated theological conversation at 6:30 am that really got me going. We each had so many different perspectives on religiousity and faith, and each left feeling quite enlightened.
Wisconsin. As soon as we arrived, we were off again to Winona, then Rochester, Minnesota. It was at this point that John and I parted ways with Jae. It was a very emotional separation, as it seemed like we had spent a lifetime of wandering and rambling side by side. We will meet again soon. This bus ride was surprisingly comfortable. There couldn’t have been more than 5 other people throughout the bus ride. Driving through Wisconsin, I was able to take pictures of the beautiful scenery that lay ahead of us, including an Amish town, hundreds of silos, farmland and mountain ranges. I got a really big kick out of driving down Highway 61. I was singing that song the entire time, and John was really getting irritated. I didn’t care. Opportunities like this don’t come often.