Punch Bowl sophomore, Hamza Qaiser enlightens us on how to get a bus from New York to Philly on a Sunday.
Step 1: Don’t.
Step 2: Alright fine, maybe you NEED to be in class on Monday because your prick of a professor wants to quiz you or some shit. But resigning yourself to failure early on is still wise, since it immunizes you to hope. This is essential for survival.
Step 3: Try megabus. It’ll be sold out but really, it’s already 3 pm. What did you expect you stupid fuck?
Step 4: Try boltbus.
Step 5: After the 5th time the boltbus website crashes mid-purchase, try greyhound. Finally get a ticket for a bus leaving in 2 hours. Breathe. Relax. Watch some TV.
Step 6: Arrive at Port Authority, late. Watch as your bus leisurely backs out of its bay. Take a moment to let this, the first of the day’s many failures, sink in.
Step 7: Consider your options. Weep.
Step 8: Start waiting for the next bus leaving in an hour. Finally put down the bag whose strap has been steadily slicing into your left shoulder. Spend the next fifteen minutes feeling distinctly lopsided. Take the time to observe your surroundings: the grimy, dingy station, a dark crucible for the sadness of humanity. Observe one particularly wretched and disheveled example of the living on display and cringe. Realize you’ve been looking into a mirror.
Step 9: With 20 minutes left, let someone know you missed your last bus. She’ll ask for your ticket. You’ll point to your phone. She’ll point to the escalator and tell you you need to print it out from a kiosk upstairs. You sense impending despair but you’re too tired to argue with a system ten years out of date. You haul yourself and your bag/sack of lead up the stairs.
Step 10: Observe two lines, 20 people in each. Yes. Yes, this is despair.
Step 11: Spend 15 minutes in line. Watch as the attendants make a third line for people just arriving. Seethe, but quietly. With dignity. Like a pussy.
Step 12: After a further two minutes, get to the kiosk. Insert your credit card. Casually observe the cash only sign above the screen. Murder it with your eyes.
Step 13: The kiosk, having after a further 5 minutes, finally failed to fulfill the sole purpose of its banal existence, has now made you miss your second bus. It is past 6 pm. Cold fury replaces despair. You can tell it’s cold because the steady pain in your skull feels a lot like brain freeze.
Step 14: FUCK IT. Ditch Port Authority and take the Subway to Penn Station. NJTransit is now the only way you’re leaving this fucking city tonight. Enter the subway and walk half a mile underground. Extract a few moments of humor and exquisite depression from “The Commuter’s Lament.” Forget if the A train stops at Penn Station or if you have to take the 1. Spend a few seconds running up and down a set of stairs, crippled by indecision.
Step 15: Take the 2 train.
Step 16: Arrive at Penn Station at 6:10 pm. Observe that the train for Trenton is leaving at 6:13 pm. Run for the ticket kiosk. Waste a minute looking for stairs.
Step 17: Grab your tickets. Waste another minute looking for different stairs. Arrive on the platform and watch as, this time, a train leisurely departs the station and leaves you staring forlornly after it. You’re starting to develop abandonment issues.
Step 18: Start waiting for the 7:03 pm train to Trenton. Grab a snack. Notice your bag’s been open for a while and feels just slightly lighter than it should.
Step 19: Weep.
Step 20: Sit down. Feel like a sack of shit. Swear loudly, but in your head, there are children here. Fuck children. They ruin everything. And ugh, look at that old bitch, walking so slowly. She’s probably making the people behind her miss their train. Fuck you…Continue in this vein and proceed to quietly yet violently and imaginatively murder your fellow passengers in your head for the next thirty minutes. Compose several cryptic, passive aggressive tweets. Only tweet two.
Step 21: Get on the fucking train.