An open letter to the night bus

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An open letter to the night bus

It’s time we had a talk, Night Bus. This has been brewing for quite some time. I’ve become unhappy in our relationship, and it’s time we had a talk. This isn’t going to be easy for either one of us, but I feel that what needs to be said will be said anyway, and there’s no reason to put off a discussion I feel is critically important to the both of us.

I’m breaking up with you.

Tallinn, Estonia.
“It’s true. I’ve been seeing other forms of transportation.”

It’s not that I don’t love you. Oh wait, nevermind. That’s not right. I fucking hate you. You have brought me more pain and misery than I feel I deserve, and it’s high time we admit to ourselves that this just isn’t working. It never was. We just stayed together because it was convenient. You were there, and Night Train wasn’t. I needed someone, and you were there. But it wasn’t love. It wasn’t even fun. It was awful. And I was thinking of Night Train every time.

I’m sorry if this hurts you, but that’s just the way it is. I am in love with Night Train. Truly, I am. And even if I can’t be with her whenever I might want, our love runs deeper than I ever would have thought possible, and it only serves as a glaring reminder that what you and I have is simply not the love I’ve dreamed of ever since watching The Notebook.

What was it, you ask? You need to know? Well, you’re right, you deserve to know what went wrong. I don’t mean to hurt you, Night Bus, but if this will make you grow as a person, I don’t want to hold back. This is going to be hurtful, Night Bus, but I only want to be honest with you.

Here is why I am breaking up with you:

1) Sitting upright damages my soul beyond repair

Pristina, Kosovo
“I don’t particularly care for your sense of humor, either.”

I can’t take it anymore, Night Bus. Not one more night of disappointing love-making. Not one. It’s not that you don’t try, but I just feel like we’re incompatible. I like to recline beyond an 87° vertical, and every night I can’t do it makes me yearn to live the life of my dreams. And I’m sorry, but a neck pillow just will not cut it. I need more.

Night Train understands me. She doesn’t always want to give me exactly what I want, but that’s okay, because it happens often enough that I am happy with her. Love is about compromise. And she is there for me. Not all the time, but oftentimes. Sometimes her seats are beds. And I have never experienced a night of such deep, memorable, satisfying, heartwarming passion as I did when getting into bed with Night Train. I’ve never felt as alive traveling overnight as I did after a night with her. I think about it for days afterwards, and long for the next time I can spend a whole night with her. She just makes me happy.

It was hot, Night Bus. And I mean like Dante’s Inferno. And you know what? You deserve that too. That’s why I have to let you go.

2) I can get up and walk around goddammit

Ah, leg room.
“Leg room makes me feel so alive.”

This is a big one for me, Night Bus. I’m sorry that this isn’t something you can do, because this is something I really need. We’re just different, you and I. You want me to be confined to a cramped and uncomfortable upright chair and I just want to stretch my legs and fly move around a bit.

No, it’s not that you haven’t tried, Night Bus. Remember those nights in Turkey? Stopping every two hours at a rest stop to let me use the bathroom and get a snack? Those were good times, Night Bus. The best we’ve ever had. Truly, they were amazing. I think about them sometimes, and I think I always will. But they just weren’t enough. You did your best, and it was wonderful. But I need to feel that beautiful feeling all the time. Those nights when you just take me along for 12 hours at a time with only a single bathroom break and inappropriate climate control settings are just too hard for me. I need love. And I can’t love you when you treat me that way.

3) I know where my livelihood bag is

Hungary somewhere or other.
“My bag is my best friend. It’s tough to be apart.”

It’s not that I don’t trust you. I just don’t trust your friends. I’m sorry, but it’s true. You’ve associated with some shady characters over the years. I’m not saying this to hurt you, and I know there’s nothing you can do about it. You have to accept your paying customers friends as they are. But when all I’ve got is a backpack with everything I own…well, I just feel better when I have it with me. And Night Train understands. She even has closed compartments that the beds seal shut. When I sleep on top one of those, well, it feels like I’ve found someone that makes me feel truly special.

So this is goodbye…

I guess that’s it. It may seem like a simple little list, but it means the world to me. Sometimes people just aren’t compatible, and that was us. I’m seeing Night Train now, and even though sometimes she can’t be there for me, the time we spend away from each other makes my love for her even deeper, since it’s all the more special when I see her show up for me. It’s truly magical.

Lake Ohrid, Macedonia
Motion of the ocean, baby.

Oh, and you were right. I did cheat on you. With Night Catamaran. I’m sorry if this is hard to hear. I know she and I could never have built anything serious. She can only visit a few times when she’s available. But damn if I don’t feel a spring in my step just thinking about those nights I spent with her.

And that’s why we can’t be together, night bus. I deserve better. You too. We both deserve someone who understands us. Someday you’ll find that weary backpacker that has no trouble sleeping upright on a bumpy bus ride, and you’ll feel that spark all over again, and you’ll know it was meant to be.

I hope we can stay friends. We’ll still see each other, after all. I hope it doesn’t have to be awkward for either one of us. Hopefully we can run into each other, say hi, and maybe even spend some time catching up. I hope it’ll be okay.

Goodbye, Night Bus. Goodbye forever.

Slovenian buddies, in Slovenia.
“Night Train even has cooler friends than you.”

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