Kerri Dennis, 20, and her boyfriend Blake Denham, 24, sit at a table inside the Greyhound bus station. A mess of carry-out food between them, Blake rests his head on the table, and tries to fall asleep. It was just after 1 p.m. and the station is dead. In three-and-a-half hours, the couple would be stepping on a bus headed back to their hometown of Anniston, Alabama.
Two days ago, the pair arrived in D.C. to work a similar door-to-door magazine sales job that had lured William Grimes to join his wife here this morning. Grimes had beamed with optimism about the supposedly lucrative work and free travel. Dennis and Denham didn’t get past their first day of training—-a full 12 hours following around a veteran sales team—-before realizing that the majority of their travel would be on foot in faraway counties.
“He didn’t like it,” Dennis says of her boyfriend. “He just wanted to go home. I follow him wherever he goes.”
The two had little time for sightseeing. Instead, they stuck to their Comfort Inn suite in Calvert County. When they got hungry, they ventured across the street to a Wendy’s or down the hill to the KFC. They watched “Family Guy” that first night, and later, tons of movies. Dennis is sure they watched 50 First Dates.
“When we were coming up here on the bus, we saw the Pentagon which was nice. We went on the boardwalk—-I’m going to say it was Chesapeake Bay.”
But Ocean City sounds familiar, too.
Like her boyfriend, Dennis says that she is homesick, but “mostly for my grandmother.” “She’s a very strong woman. She’s 79 years old and does everything for herself. She’s the biggest inspiration in my life.”
Dennis has been dating Denham for nine months. This was their first time sharing a bedroom, living together on their own. “He snores,” she says.
*photos by Darrow Montgomery.