The Devil has his own airline, but did you know he also runs his own bus service?
Don’t be fooled, it may have a common, unassuming name, but in reality it’s Satan’s Carriage. I swear to you, Satan rides it himself.
True story: the title picture for this blog is me coping with the stress of preparing to board my return leg on Satan's Carriage.
I had ridden Satan’s Carriage many years ago and the experience was not awful. It was no Majestic Sparkle Unicorn Wings flight, that is for sure. I smuggled a taser on that had been given to me by an acquaintance and I had all my money and cards stuffed in my bra. I even wore my sweatpants inside out and had a huge stain on them because it made me feel tough or like people would be less likely to mess with a disgusting looking person.
I watch too much TV.
The ride was uneventful, (sorryz) but made me confident I could ride it again if I needed to.
Fast forward 3.5 years later to audition season. My friend Doria and I were heading to New York for an open audition for a ballet company we were interested in. She told me about the 2:45am bus that left from Richmond and arrived in New York around 9:30am. It was great, you just woke up at 1am to get to the station, then fell back asleep and when you woke up you were in the Big Apple.
I was a bit skeptical, but it was cheap and I didn’t want to be a lame friend so I agreed to ride this bus.
It’s not peer pressure, it’s just your turn.
’Twas a magical experience on this carriage.
There were about 8 people in total on the bus, including my friend and I, and another fellow dancer who happened to be on the same bus. The ride was quiet and fast, I bonded with the driver over the Marine Corps, and got QUITE a lot of sleep.
Could this be the Majestic Sparkle Unicorn Wings of buses!?!
Did I just find true love?!?
My affair was quite a short one.
This love was not to last.
I would classify it as a Romeo and Juliet love affair. Hopeful and oh so wonderful in the beginning, but then taking a tragic turn due to miscommunication.
Also, why do people refer to their relationships as being the modern day R&J? It’s not that great of a love story, they both DIE!!! Do people not pay attention in English class anymore?
Now Doria and I have a great love for New York City Ballet, her way more than me. Especially since she looks like she came out of the womb dancing Balanchine works, the style created by the co-founder of the New York City Ballet. We decided to go to New York on a Sunday to watch their performance of Jewels.
12 hours in total on a bus for ballet? That’s dedication.
The trip started off how it had begun several times before, with us dragging ourselves up at 1am, blasting Empire State of Mind on the way to the bus station and sleepily waiting for the announcement to board our bus. We sat there and waited.
Our bus was over an hour late by the time we heard the announcement to board. We got into this HEEYUUGE line and boarded the bus, sleepily not really paying attention to what was going on. Somehow there were still about 20 people left who weren’t able to board. We had squeezed ourselves into the crammed bus, somehow lucking out to get a seat together. Thanks Doria for always letting me have the window! We’d been sitting on this bus that WASN’T FLIPPIN’ MOVING for what seemed like forever, when an announcement was made.
Now you really need to picture the scene, three-something am, a crowded Satan’s carriage, half the people are asleep, half are in a sleep deprived rage. Not exactly a spa-like environment.
“How many people are headed to Philadelphia? Please raise your hands”
Four people raise their hands.
“How many people are headed to New York City? Please raise your hands”
THE WHOLE REST OF THE BUS RAISES THEIR HANDS
“Well folks, we have an issue. It seems that we don’t know where the express bus headed to New York City is. This bus is supposed to be heading to Philadelphia. Now we can take all of you to Washington D.C. and there you can get on to a bus to New York.”
A mob-like rage erupted from the whole bus. These people were PISSED. I was half expecting passengers to storm the driver and beat him senseless. That’s how angry everyone was.
Finally things calmed down enough for the bus to leave. Doria and I fell asleep to the grumbling of our fellow passengers and when we awoke it seemed like we were in New York.
We were pulling up to the Union Station bus terminal at 6am to the sounds of screaming and a huge line.
I shit you not. Screaming.
As the bus arrived, a woman belligerently started attacking it and yelling. I have no idea what she was saying, but there were already police of some sort on her. They pressed her against a pillar and cuffed her before leading her off.
I think her bus was delayed as well.
The driver got on the P.A. system to make another announcement.
“If you’re headed to New York City, you will need to exit the bus and get in line behind the people currently waiting in line. You’ll then get on another bus to NYC and this bus will continue to Philly.”
Oh well, if that’s all, sure. Sounds great. Here’s hoping there’s enough space for us and the large line of passengers already waiting.
Doria and I, and our new 30 best friends started to disembark the bus. We were almost out the door when some Satan’s Carriage official started yelling at us to get back on the bus. I back tracked to our seats, where someone had taken our seat. I sat down and Doria was able to find a seat a few rows in front of me inhabited by a blob in the aisle seat. She wasn’t sure if it was a person covered completely in blankets, but when they didn’t answer her if she could sit there, she just hopped over it.
Yeah, we’re dancers and do that kinda thing.
I have no idea what was being said by the Satan’s Carriage official, but I know it was something along the lines of another delay. I was seeing red. At this point the bus was never going to get to New York. It’s probably still there! We were going to miss the ballet and everything would be ruined. First world probz, amirite?
Thank the Lord for smart phones because I pulled out my phone to look at train times leaving Union Station. At this point it was almost 6:30 in the morning and there was a train leaving at 7am that would get us to NYC only an hour later than what our original Satan’s Carriage had been SCHEDULED FOR. I texted Doria to see if she was down. Of course she was down. I typed in my memorized credit card number. Yeah, I do a lot of online shopping. And we exited that bus quicker than a hungry ballerina can devour a burger.
Real bathrooms. Espresso. Fresh pressed juice. Snacks. Orderly boarding. Reclining, wide chairs. Leg room. Tray tables.
When the conductor scanned our tickets I’m pretty sure we thanked HIM enthusiastically.
That had to be the greatest train ride I’ve ever experienced in my life.
Now I try to only take the Golden Godly Glider Train. But sometimes you gotta save that dough and let the Devil slip into your life. In fact I’m writing this on a Satan’s Carriage ride. It’s actually going quite well and it looks like we’ll get to NYC early.
But that can always change…..