Eventually Matt did swing by where I was and we managed to encounter one another, although not before walking past each other in the night, unsure of who was who (He has a new beard, I didn't recognize him. It was less awkward than the OTHER fellow I stalked pretty sure that it wasn't Matt but unwilling to believe that Howard Dean's statemate would lie about being on the bus.) Matt recognized by voluminous form and said "Are we going to pass eachother nodding a few more times?"
There was another reason I didn't recognize Matt. He had a girl with him. A woman, really.
Now those of you who don't know me in person may not be fully aware of this, but you probably suspect that I am not the sort of fellow who gets on a bus at 11:30 PM alone and off the same bus at 3:30 AM with a 26 year old Arizonian in a reavealing top. That is definitely true. Matt, apparently, is such a person. She said her name was Leigh, that the person who was supposed to pick her up had not been in contact for 6 hours, lived in Brooklyn "near a park" and "Looka, like a man." Matt helpfully invited her back to my place, in the sort of hormonally driven decision he was in no position to make. I was more than willing to wait there with her for her friend, praying that he would decide to swing by and pick up his Arizonian rather than get piss drunk and leave her to the wolves, but I was outnumbered and frankly it didn't seem likely that he'd come, so we all headed back to my place. She seemed friendly enough, and not at all likely to plunge a knife through my heart while I slept. I was exhausted and made apparently confusing references to cads and Shecky Green. Matt made goat cheese infused eggs. She weighed herself and learned that at 126 she'd lost a pound (I'm so not kidding about that either). I offered her the bed in the dining room, which can be sealed off from prying eyes via a series of curtains. She didn't have any clothes with her except what she was wearing, but she did have 3 pairs of sunglasses. She claims to be a Tucson Sunglass Hut manager. I still don't understand why someone would pack 3 pairs of Ray-Bans but not any spare underwear.
So that's the basic story right now. They're asleep, seperately. I'm afraid of being robbed since this could very easily be a scam, picking on two trusting fellows in order to obtain access to their homes and valuables, except Matt has no valuables here, just a pack of cards and some turquoise socks (they're nice enough turquoise socks.) If she runs off with checks or money or art my mother will execute me and I will feel like the world's biggest heel, especially because this was all to fuel Matt's "Birthday Girl" style fantasy of a lost and bewildered girl and naughty endeavours in New York City. He's playing a dangerous game with my chips pushed to the center of the table. Fucking Vermonters. I don't know why they call Burlington the windshield capital of the world anyway.
I'm sure this is the sort of experience that will be rich in material to mine for some of my spectacularly bad writing. That's one of the reasons I'm not more upset about it. On the other hand, such experiences hopefully do not include yelling at a bank about faked checks and filling out police reports for people whose last names you don't know. I'm a pretty open person and I'm glad that I was able to give this girl a safe place to lie down until her bastard Brooklynite realizes that one doesn't leave young women stranded at bus stations (station, not even a depot with a waiting area, just a boarded up window) in New York City. Even someone from Brooklyn should know that. I'm paranoid enough to recognize the size of the risk.
This is one of the reasons I tend to be cautious in my associations. You set out to help a young Vermonter, take him to the zoo and get his mind off his troubles, and you end up with a pillar of the Tucson business community complaining about those arrogant pricks from Scotsdale, and pocketing your silverware.