Abandoned By Henry At The Greyhound Bus Terminal In Washington DC

1532 greyhound bus 300x162 Abandoned By Henry At The Greyhound Bus Terminal In Washington DC

PART 1

Henry, Henry…
 

Wherefore art thou Henry?
 

A ragged piece of notepaper with scribbles on it…and his phone number…
 

Henry was nowhere to be seen and Tamara was attempting to use the payphone in the Greyhound Station to call him. I say attempting because her trying to use the phone was an exercise in futility. She could not figure out how to use it and her constant screaming, “Hellllllllllllooooo!” into the mouthpiece was cracking me up much to her annoyance. The frustration took over her and she was soon whacking the handset against the body of the telephone in a mad rage,
 

“These Americans don’t even have normal phone boxes!”
 

Now the loons kept away… We were officially loons too, and loons can’t be bothered with other loons…
 

After the pushing of various buttons she got through to an operator which settled her temper temporarily. She was calm and speaking at a normal conversational volume level, and then something happened. All of a sudden I heard her hurling a tirade of abuse at the telephone operator. From her reaction I knew she had been hung up on.
 

Crazy Americans at a bus station past midnight…
 

Crazy Brits at a bus station in a foreign country past midnight…
 

A match made in a nightmare heaven…
 

“What the faaaack are we gonna do!”
 

She exclaimed clutching her temples with two fingers in her regular fashion. All we could do was wait and so we did.
 

We waited and we waited.

 

Forlorn

             Abandoned

                         Stranded

An hour passed before he arrived to meet us, our faces with expressions like stone. The drive to his house was made of up monosyllabic conversation, neither parties making too much effort to rectify the situation. We drove out of DC and into suburban Maryland. The scenery was sheer greenery.
 

We had dreamed of…
 

Loud Music

   Busy Streets

        Roadblocks

                    Skyscrapers

                                        Street Vendors

                                                               Food glorious food
 

This place was nothing like the New York we had envisioned for so long. All that could be heard beyond the solitary car engine purr was the sound of crickets. The whole journey we didn’t question where we were going. I think we both expected that we would pass the green and come upon a built up urban area, where he would tell us he lived, or rather we hoped that that would be the case. A place where kids played outside and people hung out on front porches cracking jokes and barbecuing.
 

We never came to such a place…
 

On pulling up to his apartment in a subdivision off Good Luck Road Tamara hissed in my ear,
 

“I can’t fuckin believe he brought us to the countryside!”
 

The closest shop I’d seen was a 7/11 a good 2 miles away. There was not a bus stop or sign of life in sight. His apartment block wasn’t even set up where you could imagine people hanging out in the front. It was the kind of place where people came straight out of their houses, into cars and away from their lives at Good Luck Road. How the hell were we going to meet people in this desolate land?
 

When we got into the house Tamara asked Henry where all the shops were. Henry told us that he would take us to the mall the next day on his way to his office. The mall was called Landover Mall and became our hang out spot and hunting ground for the next few days.

 

That night we were lead to “our room.” There was a mattress on the floor covered in a sheet. There wasn’t even a light socket in the room, or a lamp… Nothing.

 

darkness…

 

What had we gotten ourselves into?

 

He knew we were coming… or did he think that we weren’t?

 

Where the hell was the duvet?

  

After making the request we were given a lamp and a duvet.

We didn’t eat that night. after raiding the fridge we discovered that Henry had no food.

 

What did he have planned?

 

Little did he know that we liked to drink, but we also liked to eat…

 

The following morning Henry dropped us off at Landover Mall on his way to work. At first we were excited. We’d never been to a “mall” and only knew of them through programmes like Fresh Prince of Bel Air. In American programmes people were always meeting guys/girls in the mall, so we were sure we would hang out there with gorgeous guys all day having the time of our lives.
 

Yeah right!
 

Aching Feet…
 

Buck teeth security guards trying to get up…
 

The novelty soon wore off. Not only was Landover small and shitty but we quickly realised that there was no difference between the mall and a bruck down British shopping centre. It was boring and there was only so much you could do. We’d eaten until we were stuffed. We’d talked to every good looking guy (which wasn’t many) and walked up and down so many times that we could have walked around the mall blindfolded and found our way around with ease..

The next day and it was the same drill. Henry dropped us off at the mall on his way to work. It was only the second day and we knew that the mall shit wasn’t going to work long term. However he had said that he would be taking a week off in the next few days, but until then we had two choices. The house or Landover Mall. We chose Landover Mall. At least if we were out of the house we had the chance to meet and hang out with other people. In the house we only had the alcohol and MTV, which was cool but only up to a certain point.

 

This day we weren’t walking up and down as much because Tamara had wanted to get a weave done at the hair salon in the mall. Great for her but double boring for me.I sat in that salon for 5 hours straight entertained in spurts only by the crazy customers that would come in and the arguments that arose between staff members.

 

Americans have the best weaves ever!

 

Yeah Right!

 

Tamara was distraught when her hair was finished. She had brought in three hair colours (blonde, brown and black to try and create a highlight effect) but she ended up looking like a bashment queen with this big stripey blonde hair piled high on her head.

 

It was a full sew in…

 

The guys loved it though and she got loads of attention so she lived with it, figuring that she would take it out the day before we left, so no one in the UK would see the state that she had been walking around in.

 

That night Henry took us to DC Live.

 

I had the time of my life

 

With others around he was no longer centre of attention and he became moody with us talking to other guys.

 

You ain’t no body’s man!

 

We came home on a high and the next day it was back to…

 

The mall.

 

The same routine…

 

This day was different, because on this day we met someone who was to turn the whole holiday around.

 

Our saviour…

 

We entered a sports shop, as Tamara was looking for a cap to buy as a gift for a friend. There were two girls behind the counter who we struck up a conversation with. They were intrigued that we were English and Tamara told them how we had recently arrived and didn’t know many places to go. She asked them if they knew where we could buy some weed and they both offered to take us to find some. I was slightly bemused as neither of us smoked but I kept quiet nonetheless.

 

RESULT!

 

We took their numbers before leaving. After leaving the shop I asked Tamara about the weed thing and she replied,

 

“Wherever they sell weed all the gorgeous guys will be hanging around… The gorgeous ones are always bums so they will be selling weed and this way we get to see THE HOOD! Like in the films. Plus those girls will think we are hard so they won’t try and take the piss with us”

 

I figured it was a good a reason as any and was happy to go along with it.

 

That evening when Henry came to pick us up, we rode home in the car smiling giddily the entire way.

 

We were pleased with ourselves…

 

Pleased that we had walked into the Sports shop that day…

 

Pleased that we had met some girls to take us around, as opposed to guys who would only try to take advantage of us and prevent us from meeting new guys…

 

Walking into the Sports shop that day was the beginning of the deterioration of the relationship with Henry, and the start of one of the best holidays ever!

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