I’m back in Pacific Central Station. This time I’m actually on time; I’ve triple checked. Another backpacker walks into the station. He has long tangled hair and the exact same satchel I brought across the country last summer, only his is a different colour. He looks calm, like he’s traveled before, but he’s still young like me. I walk past him a few minutes later while heading to the washroom. I then realize that he might be a friend of mine from Halifax, Chris. In first year I would occasionally have lunch with Chris. I quickly realize that this man is not Chris, he’s still just a backpacker.
I walk down the bus aisle and decide to sit across the aisle from conceivably-Chris. I’m curious what his story is, so after I manage eye contact I open by asking him where he got his bag. He says from an army surplus store in Ottawa. He’s going to Portland too. I tell him that I’m heading further south and he asks where to. I let him know I’m headed to Guatemala. Just as I’m about to mention the country’s recent earthquake a smile forms on his face.
“I’m heading to Guatemala too… in a month. Have you ever been?”
I explain my story and goals; we’re headed to the same lake. I realize I’m on the road again, a road filled with others who have similar dreams. He tells me the cooperative I’m headed to is “crazy.” Says the owners will probably be away at a Rainbow when I arrive there. I can hardly believe I’m having this conversation already. He tells me that I can find him at the Hostel del Lago if the cooperative is too gaga for me. He rolls away and curls into his seat to try and nap. It is about 6:30am after all.
His real name is Coco. Or at least that’s the name he gives me.