Mood: not sure
All through that winter into spring, Frodo and the Fellowship would gather late at night for a trek to the "Bus Stop." An active metabolism allowed each of them to wolf down cheeseburgers and french fries, as a supplement to institutional cafeteria food, without regard to that which prevents such ingestion in these times. Frodo's motorcar was the roomiest, and it was the most frequent carriage to that single source of light in a dark and desolate small town. Frodo took the break from study, and the concomitant spiraling cigarette smoke in his lamp, in order to break the monotony and re-charge the batteries. It also became a game because Treebeard was keeping count.
More than 120 nights in a row had passed since Treebeard began his streak at the "Bus Stop." "Hester," the aging but capable waitress was always there to greet and serve her "boys." The arrival of the Fellowship of the Ring was probably just as important to Hester as was the warmth of the booth in the back, and the greasy atmosphere in that diner. It was a grand time, and there were few cross words or expressions of fear about the future in the "Bus Stop." The only thing that seemed to be absent were the buses. Frodo never recalls seeing an actual Greyhound outside the little station.
As Frodo's final days at the College of the Shire came to an end, pressures were building. The Siege of Gondor was underway, and Frodo would be an unwilling participant, or so it appeared. There were many examinations for which preparations were required before the Last Debate could occur, and Frodo had much to do (the memory of two consecutive nights without sleep in preparation for five exams now seems herculean).
Treebeard entered Frodo's room, ready for the nightly jaunt, but Frodo had to deny his friend. All others were equally occupied, but Treebeard had "the streak" to consider. Frodo felt badly, but he had no time to waste. Treebeard told him not to worry, but Frodo did worry.
They did not go to the "Bus Stop" again. The final examinations came and went, and so did those in the Ring.
Today Frodo received a letter from Tom Bombadil who had shared french fries with Frodo and Treebeard. The note was wrapped around a newspaper article which read, in part, "Nothing remains of the old Greyhound bus station but a pile of concrete and yellow bricks." Tom Bombadil noted that he had taken a final "walk through" of the little diner, just before it was razed, "for old times," he said.
Frodo believes that if there is a Heaven, then there surely will be a Greyhound bus station serving cheeseburgers and french fries to people who never grow old.
Posted by loveysdaddyga at 8:38 PM EST