Speeding to the Greyhound


Selestiana jumping in Midtown, photographed by Ken Douglas and Vesta Irene of Wedding Shots, Wedding Photography, Reno, NV.


She pounded on the window.

I rolled it down.

“Mister, I’m in a terrible hurry. Can you take me to the Greyhound station?” She had pink hair. She was black. And she was attractive as all get out.

“Sure.” Heck, I woulda taken her to San Diego if she wanted. “Hop in.”

She’d came busting out of the library as Vesta was charging in and she’d run straight to my car, an angel from Heaven, sent to Earth to brighten my day.

We were on our way, Vesta and me, to shoot Selestiana’s senior photos at San Rafael Park and we were running late, but Vesta wanted to drop off her books on the way, cuz they were due back tomorrow.

She jumped into the passenger seat, Vesta’s seat. I kinda meant for her to get in back, but she was already in the car.

“Come on!” She said. “Go, go, go.”

“Can’t leave without my wife,” I said. That woulda been bad in so many ways, more than I can count.

“I only got two minutes.” I suppose I coulda asked her how come she timed it so late, cuz the Greyhound was a ten or fifteen minute run away. If you were walking, longer. But I didn’t ask her, because she was obviously stressed.

She put her hands together in prayer. “Please, God. Please, God let me make this bus. Please, please, please. I’ll do anything you want.” She started shaking. “I’ll forsake all my friends for you, if you just let me make this bus.”

I was beginning to think maybe letting her in the car might not have been the brightest thing I’d ever done.

“We gotta go, mister. We gotta go. We gotta go!”

“She’ll be right out.”

The beautiful, pink haired black girl stuck her hand into a giant purse and I knew she was gonna pull out a knife. Crap, I was in a Steven King story and there was no good way out for me.

But she pulled out a Rosary, squeezed it tight. “Please, please, Please.”

“What’s this?” Vesta was at my window, looking at my angel, who didn’t seem quite so angelic anymore.”

“She needs a ride to the Greyhound.”

“She’s in my seat!”

“She’s in a hurry.”

“We’re in a hurry.”

“Lady,” the pink haired girl said, “I just found out I’m pregnant. My boyfriend took all my money and dumped me. All I got left in the world is this bus ticket to Sacramento. I need to get home to my mama and if I miss this bus, I might as well kill myself. So could you please just get in so we can go?”

“Okay, okay!” Vesta got in back and I zoomed up Center. And the girl prayed all the way to the Greyhound, mumbling like she was talking in tongues.

“Relax,” Vesta said. “It can’t be that bad. Nothing’s that bad.”

“It’s bad. It’s bad. I gotta make this bus.”

I screeched the little Toyota into a tight left at Second. The light at Virginia was red. It always is and it’s a long light.

“I gotta make this bus.”

I looked both ways, honked the horn, ran the light.

“Asshole!” a dumb ass pedestrian shouted. I didn’t come anywhere close to hitting him. Yeah, I cut him off. But I honked.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you.“ She jumped out when we got to the station, shouting her thanks all the way to the door.

“Boy, you can sure pick ‘em,” Vesta said as we drove away.

Fifteen minutes later we were shooting Selestiana in the park. After about twenty minutes, I showed her some of Vesta’s Facebook photos of the murals she’d been shooting in Midtown and we decided to go there and I’m glad we did, because Midtown is crammed full of photographic opportunities.

But I kept thinking about my crazy, not so angelic angel. She didn’t ask for money, only a ride. And I’m still wondering about those friends she’d promised to forsake.

Ah, well. I hope everything’s alright with her.

She didn’t pull out a knife. That was good. We got great photos of Selestiana. That was good. And we’re alive in Midtown and that’s good too.

Ken Douglas Wedding and Portrait Photography, 1250 Ralston Street, Reno, NV 89503 
Phone: 775 393-9529