January 22, 2015: The Lonely Hearts Club Tour Company

There is a bus that roams the country – packed with heartache and loss and sorrow and desperate dreams.

It’s the Lonely Hearts Club.

Founded in 2008 by Mr. John, the Lonely Hearts Club travels the country looking for love and happiness. The passengers are ever changing, once they find what they are looking for, they are no longer allowed on the bus.

It seems a simple service – everyone chips in for food and gasoline. They receive a few donations which come in handy when the bus needs to be repaired.

We don’t really talk to each other. We don’t discuss our dreams or our past experiences. Sometimes they play music on the bus, but it’s mostly quiet contemplation.

The bus driver has been gone for about two weeks now. He fell in love just south of Des Moines, and – as the rest of the passengers had hoped for themselves – the woman was in love with him, too. After fulfilling his dream, he was no longer allowed on the bus.

Which is unfortunate for the Club as no one else knows how to drive the thing.

We should have made sure there was at least one other person on the bus who could drive this thing. But, you know how it is, when you’re as lonely as we are you never expect to find that person. You just wallow and roll through the day. When it does happen, when you find love or love finds you, it always comes as a shock. This time, it just left all of us in the dust.

They’ve set up a camp ground around the bus. Most of them just sleep in their seats, but some have actually ventured out into nature, sleeping on blankets under the stars.

You can feel their desperation as they sit by themselves.

I ask one of the members if they ever try to find what they are looking for among the other club members.

It doesn’t work like that. Not with us. Misery loves company, yes, but this tour is for us to look inward and to be caught off guard. We drive around, waiting for love to find us. I’ve seen a couple of club members pair off, but one of them eventually comes back to the tour even more broken.

Two weeks on the side of I-95. New passengers show up and join the club every day.

They are still waiting for a new driver.

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