Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Don't Stop Believin'

     Cue the cheesy introduction, saying something like “Well, here I am on an eastbound train, headed for P___.” (totally just did the old old-fashioned thing of leaving a monstrous blank after the first letter of the destination name.  Nobody does that anymore.  Interesting.)  I did say a train.  A preferred mode of transportation, for me.  I love the train; I always recommend it and what the heck am I doing? I promised there would be no commercials in this blog thing.  I’m going to adamantly stick to that rule.  Maybe.  (And the train stop at Durand is by far the most picturesque, in case anyone wants to know.)
     There’s a banner at one of the stops.  “Blue Water something something something-remotely-related-to-the-local-train-station’s 35th Anniversary; 1974-2009”  What?  2009.  Two-thousand. Nine.  Good grief.  Stuck in the past, are we?  Can’t get past that year, I guess.  Too many good memories? or did the marketing executives retire and leave unfinished business?  Do train stations of this size even have marketing execs?
     I have a tradition I started for myself that’s almost as cheesy as that intro up there.  Every time I know I’m headed for a train trip, I purposely incorporate Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” into my life for a day.  I think about it; I play it on my iPod… thing; I dance to it; I get it stuck in my head.  It’s not all that random an idea.  You got the lyrics (I have no idea what kind of copyright allowances or whatever I need to use this in here, but I’m going for it):

Just a small-town girl
Livin’ in a lonely world. (That’s me.)
She took the midnight train goin’ anywhere… (The train I typically take arrives at destination around 12 a.m.  Huh.  That works out.)

     Then you have the really ironic part:

Just a city boy
Born and raised in south Detroit.

What?  How’d they know my locale? I tell you, they wrote this song for me before I was even born.  *gasp!* It’s a sign.  Now the question is, is it a sign of good fortune or impending doom?  ….Only time will tell….
     The most colourful stop so far was F___ (oh, see? I did it again; now it looks like I'm swearing. Great).  And I don’t just say that because it primarily involved black people. Oh, snap; sorry.  African-American people.  A whole bunch of them got off the train.  Which really means nothing at all; I just noticed it.  That was the biggest group of people to get off the train at one time, too.  Which is also needless information that I felt like pointing out.  You know something else, though; that’s not quite so idle a fact, is that this particular city has been crowned with the title of “fifth most dangerous city in the United States”.  Ooo.  In a moment of true sincerity and compassion, I’d like to say I hope that ginormous group of African Americans gets home safely.
     At this stop, a man boarded. (Oh, big whoop; “a man boarded”.  Apologies; I couldn’t readily conjur up a better way to say it.)  He’s obviously a homeless man; or at the very least, down to the bottom of the barrel.  Tattered cap; big puffy coat, torn at a few spots along different seams, tufts of cotton poking through.  He carries a guitar; the string ends weren’t trimmed when they last got replaced, and they’re curling all over the place on the guitar head.  (Kind of a snazzy guitar, otherwise, though. Props to the dude.)  He didn’t make the car smell any better, I’ll give you that, but I have nothing against this guy.  A cheerful sort, seems like; makes eye contact.  (Eye contact is a hard thing to accomplish in environments like this.  On the other hand, eye contact with certain kinds of people can be trouble; I have learned that much.)
     The one thing about train travel is that once you get within 10 minutes of your destination, everything crawls.  The pace over the course of the trip isn’t all that bad, but it never seems to be quite fast enough for those 10 minutes.  The feeling is like that sensation you get when the Fooseball is steadily headed into your goal; it’s not fast at all, or slow, either, but it grudgingly revolves at just the right pace to go slow-mo in your head and drive you crazy.  Is it just me, or does that happen to other people, too?
One hour later…
     Okay, scratch everything I said about the guy.  He creeps me out.  You know what I said about “certain kinds of people”? He was a certain kind of people.  I swear, I will never learn.
     The train, against all odds, arrived early, despite being half an hour late picking us up.  An impressive job done by the conductor, I must say.  Even with a gaping hole in the schedule from the hold-up in F____.
     My ride, who also happens to be my grandfather, was on time; which is late, for a girl who showed up early.  (You follow?)
     Five minutes into it, and I already fear for my life.  The driver (afore-mentioned grandpapa) commences to throw himself against the horn; there are no other cars on this interstate.  Nothing.  An ant.  “Thought I saw an ant on the road.  I was wrong; I think it was an uncle.  It’s all good.”  Seriously.  This is the same man who jostles the minivan on an inch of ice at seven in the morning to “get the heater fluid moving through”.  By all reasoning, I should probably be dead, considering all the car trips I’ve sustained with him.
     Get home, settle in, unpack my suitcase into the dresser drawers (first time I’ve ever done that; unpacked my suitcase into the dresser drawers in a non-permanent residence); wait for the little sister to conk out; and turn totally bonkers because … I can.  I’ve been hearing a lot about this movie “Good Will Hunting”.  So.  I jumped.  I’m not entirely positive, but this may well be the first rated-R movie I’ve watched in my life.  Yay me, growing up and stuff.  Guess what?  The movie rocks.  I’m floored.  Well, so far, at least.  Love this guy.  He’s basically perfect, except, you know, for all the mouthy junk that he throws around.

“Free-weights, huh?”
“Yeah, big time.”
“How much you bench?”
“Two eighty five; what d’you bench?”
“…You paint that?”

     The guy’s a genius.  I think I’m in love, yo.
     This movie’s going to get me talking all slang now, and that would murder my “reputation,” so I’d better either shut up or stop watching, and there’s no way I’m gonna stop watching this thing, so ya’ll are gonna get left in the dust.  I’m such a mean blogger.  I love it.

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