On Friday evening the Megabus station—that’s to say the Megabus sidewalk, just south of Union Station, as the Megabus has no real station—had sort of a zombie-apocalyptic feel. It was filthy, for one thing. The sidewalk is wide on that block of Canal, the better for passersby to discard Dunkin’ Donuts wrappers on. There may have been a bus coming but nobody seemed really sure. The many travelers on the sidewalk were threaded through with random people asking for money or digging through the garbage cans, which contributed further to the block’s trash problem. There was a wet pile that could’ve been vomit. A woman asked me for $18 to get on the bus; I gave her a cigarette instead, she asked about my semicolon tattoo, and then she moved on to the next guy.

I’m on record as being a Megabus superfan, but it’s not without its glitches. There was the time, for instance, when a busload of us got as far up 94 as Jefferson Park or so, on the way to Minneapolis, before one passenger realized this wasn’t the bus for Saint Louis. On the way back downtown it was observed by a number of passengers that the bus was filling with the smell of gasoline, and so after cracking a window and dropping the wayward passenger back on Canal Street we headed to the bus barn on the south side—44th Street, I think, or thereabouts—to trade the vehicle in. It was about 11 PM.

We still made it to Minneapolis on time.