"What time you got pal?" ...says the figure across from me.
"five-thirty," says I.
"Goddamn, this bus-ride is a long one eh?" he says, laughing... pronounced cheekbones stretching skin across the breadth of his face.
He'd been around, this one. So said the tattoos adorning the majority of real-estate on his arms. So said the size of his well-watered nose, the deep crevaces in his complection, despite his skeletal profile.
"I suppose I've got a longer bus trip ahead of me," he says, pulling a Greyhound ticket from his pocket. "Looks like I may be heading out to the island."
I nod, he continues.
"Bunch of construction contractors here in town want me, and so does one on the island," he boasts in all absence of ego, shoulders shrugging as he speaks. "Guess for once, I get to choose where I go."
Another rider takes the seat next to the man across from us, who acknowledges his presence immediately, expanding our circle to four. He turns his attention to my companions shirt, noticing the first nations symbol displayed on it.
"Looks like you know your way around the island a bit too eh?" he says.
"I've been adopted by the Willy family up that way, you know them?" answers my companion.
"Sounds familiar, most likely know 'em to see 'em eh." he says, "but no faces coming to mind now."
"So you moving out to the island to be closer to family?" asks my companion beside me. I had been wondering the same.
"Not exactly," says the man across. The newcomer continues to listen intently.
"My ex-wife has come down with TB," he says, betraying little emotion. "She's my ex-wife you know, but hell, she's the mother of my children eh, and I guess she's in pretty rough shape."
"I thought TB was supposed to have been erradicated from this country," I ask my companion, who knows a little up matters of medical nature.
"Well not entirely," he answers. "At least not in certain communities."