California Zephyr

A long way to go a long time to get there…

Prelude

here we go all aboard here we go half way across the country from san francisco to chicago it’s a magic carpet ride it’s a loop de loop alley oop roundabout turn me inside out gaze upon the lint within my belly button whilst i ponder the universe and all that she touches

got me a ticket to ride the california zephyr

all aboard i’m ready for my choco t-loco coated espresso bean hunter ess thompson-inspired cannabis-fueled romp most all the way ‘cross the country

and sugar lemme tell you i’m already tripping balls

Chicago

i’m going to chicago yes i am

don’t really know you chicago i mean we’ve flirted i mean we’ve often touched tantalized titillated i’ll fly in you’ll tease me a little you’ll flick my balls with a feather but we’ve never done the real nasty the back alley up against the piled up garbage bags behind the bar coffee grinds and hamburger buns and ketchupped fries smeared all about your ass and my knees and elbows both of us howling at the streetlight we believe to be the moon

no

that nasty schtupp and schlurp has yet to enter our mutual memories

but that’s ok i’m a patient man i have other things on my mind right now i’m an old white guy looking irrelevancy straight in the eye trying to stare down the motherfucker trying not to blink it’s a mittyesque endeavor i might win a few skirmishes i’ll never win the war

but that’s ok that’s all right no need to panic no need to get all worked up it’s a steady decline from here it’s just one of those things that i’ve come to accept

like hairs curling up and out from my ear as if they were plumes of smoke from some sort of fire still burning within like cum shots comprised of dust and multicolored puffs of smoke as if random sexual adventuring is nothing but some sort of holi festival of colors good over evil baby

like love that simply simmers and that’s ok

and so

i’m headed to chicago the windy city home of john hancock home of some hockey team i don’t know i hear tell they’re pretty good when i get around to figuring out this melee called a sport maybe i’ll pay attention they have other shit too the blues some baseball teams some football club some basketball team that used to be good back in the day

they also have a lake and that’s cool

but there’s little here to keep my attention for too long maybe that’s why i’m taking the train not in any hurry to get there

Waiting for the break of day/Searching for something to say/Flashing lights against the sky/Giving up, I close my eyes

i’m taking a long trip to say good bye to the old i’m taking a long trip to say hello to the new i’m going to be shaking hands blowing smoke up the arses of people i love people i like people i tolerate people i totally fucking loathe i offer prayers of shameful apology to those i love if i happen to confuse them in the mix during this coming together of the best brightest buffoons of today’s television technology

i mean it ain’t like we all get together and discuss cures for cancer clean up the environment bring about world peace but hey i like to think we’re providing succor for those who do getting in on some of them karma points

and

so we all come to chicago to some big old cavernous exhibition hall get together stand around measuring dicks stroking cocks shooting shit speaking in superlatives stressing superiority not only of product but also of intellect innovation sprinkled with innocence they like that they like that fresh innocent thing that young smartass kid ain’t even shaving yet thing that hey it’s new tech shit it’s a never ending game of leap frogger back and forth across rush street on a saturday night

jack be nimble jack be quick if you ain’t lucky you get kicked to shit

it’s a game where nobody ever wins

Should I try to do some more/25 or 6 to 4

The Zephyr

and

sugar don’t you know do i have to even tell you ain’t it obvious that before i even climb up the steps board the train over here in emeryville right outside of san francisco the other side of the water the train having no way to ford the creek that is our lady her majesty the bay

darlin’ don’t you know i’m already tripping balls

before we settle into our assigned place du derriere before we do the choo choo zoom zoom it all happens so fast one moment we’re all simply hanging out on the platform by the tracks outside the station random bunch of mostly middle aged white people bumper carring around with suitcases pulled on little wheels behind us next moment this massively long blue silver and charcoal smudged monstrosity roars then screams slides squeals to a stop right in front of us and we all chaotically meander aboard this our yesteryear’s train the past future present they be one and the same here on the zephyr we are herded and ensconced within this agatha christie time tube she be dark and a little musty and smelling

a bit like your gramp’s place back when he and the old lady were getting along in years a little aged a little wrinkly kind of long in the tooth

methinks jesus might have rode this train into jerusalem on that fateful day methinks our conductor was waving one of the palm fronds

but they these train cars they are clean and the seats are more comfortable than some of those fancy schmancy la tee da jet planes armed by perky pistol packing uniform-wearing waitresses who hate their jobs and would just as soon elbow you out of the way should disaster linger

but i don’t want to dwell on the negative because

it ain’t like that here on the california zephyr where karen my

well

our

attendant is kind and smiling and doting and making us me feel all special so i slip her a thirty five dollar bill the one with jerry lewis smoking a cigarette right there in the middle curling smoke all green and black slip her a jerry right up front just because that grin is big and genuine and she has a laugh

that jettisons my burdens

and i fall in love if only because she is wearing a uniform i just love a girl in a uniform that outfit make me

burn burn burn

if only she had one of those phat holsters and a pair of handcuffs and if she stood at the end of the train car legs spread a bit hips cocked a bit sliding the steel out of the leather twirling it on her finger and slipping it back in

just like my annie do

just like she do my heart oh dear god i want to be that pistol

oh karen

her laugh it tickles my love button and that spins my trippin’ balls in all the right directions as i settle in

on the chugga chugga choo choo got me a superliner private roomette door closes curtain closes shuts me off in my own little orient express world dark frumpy mustiness on the inside window looking through but not opening to the outside

a bright world full of possibilities

i press my face and lips on the cool glass get all blowcheeked and bug-eyed facing the passing-by world i feel all chimp in the zoo like i could should drop a deuce in my hand toss it out the window at the innocents along the track get all caged monkey on them but

i don’t

because the zephyr is a civilized medium of travel and we the noble passengers are a genteel folk who believe in rules and order and the organizing principles of the invisible hand

as well as a cheney-esque swift backhand if called for if deserved

because we got right here all the comforts of home as my little roomette it transmogrifies into sleeper mode seats folding down into a comfy little bed big enough to get a little something something but not so big as to allow a comfortable and proper spooning maybe a little less comfortable than the old sixty eight vee dubwa camper i slutted around college but definitely more pimped out than united airlines business class

and

karen she provides a turndown service around ten she gives me little bottles of water and i’m thinking that she might if i’m a good boy leave wrapped truffle chocolates on my pillow

but there ain’t no hanky panky

not on her watch

that’s all right that’s ok i can see the moon while i snooze and the moon he can see me

and

they these trains they are worthy and virtuous beasts and we the people who have boarded the belly of this beast seem to be a healthy mix of

train nuts who spend the entire trip with excitedly engorged woodies schtupping their bent-over fantasies with a decided passion they ain’t undertaking any passively tantric oh-my but a serious grunt and groan reptilian have-at-it

northern europeans new zealanders australians in their swiss family robinson finest north face suburban explorer outfits wrapped in a healthy yet perhaps a bit chintzy paranoia seeking yet wary of any semblance of civilized travel

older retired americans out for a safe adventure plenty of time on their hands enough money to spread around to stay comfortable to extend an overabundance of not-give-a-shit-itis

and stranded rural americans whose only source of transportation is a mule a bus or this train

all of whom in both spirit birth and melanin and by the goddamn good grace of the father the son and christ almighty are pretty much

white

except the strandeds and of course the attendants who are as a rule not don’t you know

it sends me reeling into a do loop of groundhog day ricochet sunday after church dinner at the country club cloudy southern dreamspin reeking of white linen jackets white shirts white yessir smiles black ties and black skin balancing a silver tray carrying caramel colored concoctions meant to ply us into liberal acceptance

this exception being a bit of that bad taste in my mouth that i hadn’t had in quite a long time like maybe that last tiny drop of sour bitterness that i might find at the bottom of a long tall glass of sweet fresh lemonade

don’t really feel it much don’t really get it back on our little protected island of san francisco land of make believe where we often lull ourselves into thinking well of course the world thinks the way we do

until we venture out until we tune into cnn

but the zephyr

it is all perfectly nice and all right and lovely and respectful it’s just that it’s sometimes just a little bit

uncomfortable

for this old reformed cracker

but hey it’s middle class travel at a first class price love and rockets go ahead roll the dice maybe i’ll get lucky maybe i’ll make my number

and the zephyr rambles off pulls out of emeryville with a blast of the horn and the grunt of the engine the exhale of the hydraulics and the squeal of the wheels i could write a string of metaphors i could simile the fuck out right now but that train done left the station been so many things written about trains so many songs sung about trains ain’t much left to say

sort of like writing about love

Run to Reno

and we cleave the valley cross the delta on into sacramento where in the exchange of getter off’ers and getter on’ers two vivaciously bouncing ladies in tank tops and very short shorts board and climb up to the view car

where i have plopped my cracker ass four choco loco mary jane espresso balls behind me and i’m only getting started

i should have brought the acid

and they are laughing and giggling and wiggling and telling vulgar jokes and discussing throat positions relative to penis size and i am attentive i am mesmerized not really noticing that we

climb up to truckee past donner lake over through the hills a gorgeous journey winding through schizophrenic yesterday today split personality mountain villages

how do we should we cling on to yesterday when today is oh so clear when tomorrow so seductively nibbles at our ear

and i’m thinking that i’m taking in the scenery seriously dramatic the rock the trees the river the contrasts the comparisons perspective so beautiful forever that it begins to get boring i’m simply taken by the scenery but maybe i’m not i guess i’m not since one of the young ladies she says to her friend she leans all the way over she says

why has that old man been looking at us like that all this time

and i look around the car for the old man under the table in the waste bin who is this old fucker where is he until i realize in my self-aware best pogo to albert

i have met this old fucker and i am him

so i smile i grin give ‘em a big aw shucks lawdy mercy and she winks at me as we pull down the mountain into the biggest little city in the world

just as i get a text from my sainted friend giuseppe who asks in his most reverent and sincere manner

giuseppe he says

how are the amtrak hookers

timing is everything and my friend the pope of all schmucks is nothing if not timely and we chat and i describe the unfolding and he my friend the pope he is nothing if not encouraging if not attempting to will it so and we talk turkey we both are tripping on our own separate planes one cannot properly communicate with the other but we have mutual agreement that nothing really matters more than the pleasure of each other’s company

and

they my fantasy-projected amtrak hookers they get off the train with a shimmy and a shake and a come follow me wag of the finger and we’re here for a little while so i sniff the trail until their boogie woogie bottoms head off toward the station while i pull a phattie from my pocket head the other way toward the end of the platform

that is recessed down below the city a gash cut into its belly from within when looking up all i can see is the welcoming neon of the el dorado casino all i can see is a tin star with a drunk pinned on it

so i smoke a joint in reno/just to watch it die/and when i hear that whistle blowin’/i hang my head and cry

Night Train

don’t know why don’t care why feels good feels right and we all get back on board

we all go to dinner it’s all so fucking civilized it’s a communal thing

dining is

as we’re seated by our trusted amtrak compadre in faux tux and tails he does the pairings he makes the matches he is a professional he’s been doing this for years slip him a ulysses ess he’ll find you a wife but slide him a benjamin he’ll get you a girlfriend it can be an outright apocalyptic love jam

baby it’s food for clouds

but me i’m cheap i play the lottery end up at a table sitting with a train nut from lake merritt and a couple from wisconsin they are headed all the way to chicago we do the pleasantries the hey how are you’s the where you from’s the quick judgments the first impression probably being the only impression we will ever know

and i reek of reefer and crazy paranoid thoughts and the inside of my head is being smothered by cobwebs made of high quality now new improved no sugar added peter pan crunchy peanut butter

and the sticky-legged spiders of distant images of the reno of my youth crawl along reminding me of a past where lust and love were never confused rarely came together and two dollar blackjack tables were enveloped in cigarette smoke and only gays needed condoms and ignorant white folk drank gin out of buckets

believing that biting the heads off of chickens was a proper and necessary initiation into manhood

and the train nut makes a comment about drug dogs walking through the train when we stop in salt lake city in the middle of the night and i roll my eyes and the demure cheese heads grin and i wonder if they have dentists in green bay or is it simply a fashion thing trying to look like one of the green bay packers on a november monday morning

but before long i am praising narco oakland for his superior knowledge of trains and blessing the communistic yet ironic existence of the municipally owned green bay packers and he the alpha cheesehead looks at his wife with that see honey i told you i wasn’t the only one who thinks such things look and she nods with affirmative tight lips

and everyone at the table knows that mister cheesehead is going to dip his breadstick into the fondue tonight

we find comfort if not titillation in that common yet unspoken knowledge while i give silent prayer for toothless blowjobs

and indulge in cheesecake desserts and decaf coffee and later i wander back to my room to scribble in a notebook and read fiction and stare out the window and think about masturbating until i bore of such thoughts until i exhale shiver and arise in the middle of the night wander back up to the view car

there’s a guy sitting at a table he looks sort of like my brother he’s probably younger than me but looks older long scraggly grey hair sun burnt forehead sun scarred back of the neck loopers tan probably ends half way up his tatted arm calloused fingers torn nails a man who works outside with his hands two empty beer bottles in front of him one hopefully full in his hand he’s on a pay-as-you-go mobile phone

talking

but not really he seems to be listening interjecting a but but and a honey you don’t understand and a well i’m sorry you feel that way and a final well fuck you and a slamming of the device onto the laminated plastic tabletop

and i’m haunted by past conversations i’ve had with his doppelganger my own brother maybe there’s no one really sitting at that table maybe he’s a choco-loco guilt-driven made-for-tv go ask alice hallucination i should have rescued my brother but i couldn’t

hell who could maybe i still should

i escaped that redneck hell and left him behind and he was not up for it he was not properly prepared he was a tender child and i took the money and ran

but he the miserable fuck on the train he looks up and there is nothing in his eyes there is nothing behind them that ain’t my brother whatever happened where did he go

he follows me back to my dreams in my little roomette where i toss and turn on the high density foam mattress where the curtain to the outside world is left open that sways back and forth like absalom and his father’s concubines in the public square

exposing the full moon and all his twinkling whores

an extension of my own cock my own ego which swirls whirls among amidst the firmament the dreamland detritus

love follows me i can’t escape it no matter where i hide

and hide i do i hide in my dreams i hide in my waking dreams i hide within my hallucinations that are my reality i duck down behind my ego and tremble with fear i want to know god i want to know jesus i want to know that it will all be ok

really really they tell me that all i have to do is kneel and pray ask for forgiveness and my soul will live forever i just can’t believe no love can conquer these fears

and then sleep claims me the rocking of my mother whispers me off beneath the covers and i wake up to karen knocking on my door telling me breakfast awaits sending me that gentle murmuring that oozes beneath the sliding door like sweet honey while the train squeaks and squeals into green river utah i lean up glance out the window and gaze upon the desert rose inn a shack of a tavern a cuckholded caravansary a faded mural slapped on clapboard siding

Morning Run to Grand Junction

grand junction is an hour or so away but we’re taking on water here in green river almost like i’m part of i’m playing in i’m riding in the old west i want to put on my spurs and chaps and walk up and down the aisle like marshal dillon

on folsom street

but instead i wander to the deck below and insert myself into the shower wondering how why if my new friends and their thunderous thighs can do the same will they shall they we can only hope and i shake my head full of salty peppery hair like the shaggy dog i am that i imagine myself to be i clean myself up i make myself all caucasian midwestern respectable maybe i even parted my hair on the side lined it all up with brylcreme

just a little dab will do me don’t you know

and

i slide into my best tell the world i’m a middle age cracker cargo shorts i chew on a couple more choco-loco cannabis coffee beans wander up to the dining car and allow myself to be placed inserted enjoined with the table assigned by my uniformed maitre’d

and i end up schlurpping coffee with a big old guy a belly sagging over his belt like a garbage bag

my head is begins to spin my eyeballs rolling my morning mantra halting this coffee seems to be the bottom bitch’s brew from some gas station landlocked brainlocked cockblocked on the eastern slopes of the sierras it’s primary purpose being less caffeine delivery and more roto rooting my lower gastrointestinal system to the point of having to perform a serious series of kegels begging buns of steel to not let me down

but the old guy is full of love lard and lasciviousness he has to get around with a cane a walker a pogo stick he’s on his way home some hovel somewhere in cornhole indiana he’s taking the train to chi-town he hopes his daughter will come pick him up

if she can get away her husband is a bit of an asshole he says while looking at me sideways like maybe he needs to be careful like maybe i know the indiana lugnut like maybe we’re partners in crime

but he realizes that beloved son-in-law is one miscreant that i don’t know and the dam breaks he tells all

he worries that the sorry bastard sometimes sometimes hits her he doesn’t know what to do he loses sleep worrying about his girl he’s too old to confront him idle threats and all so maybe he’ll just walk up and put a bullet in his shaved skin head one day what the fuck that would surely surprise the motherfucker what the hell might as well go out with a bang

he’s had a good life

or rather

he’s had a long life he used to work for the railroads he loves the railroads he tells me about the diesel engines that pull push this beast he tells me about track maintenance he tells me about the hoboes and bums who ride the rails he tells me about working the night crew away for weeks at a time away from his family he tells me about his wife

he loved her so

she put up with him she tolerated him she always supported him when she died that was ten years ago he went on a bender

he gives me that sideways grin kind of rueful kind of watch out kid he says he went on a long bender lasted five years nearly drank himself to death ran his daughter away ran his sister away he and his son they got into a fight got into several fights last time got his nose broke after his son landed a haymaker

he puts his finger on the tip of his nose and wiggles it back and forth

never been the same sense

i nod i understand i tell him not to be so hard on himself

hell

who knows what darkness awaits us just around the corner just up the path

he just shakes his head he’s had this conversation before he’s heard others say the same thing but he simply says

so can you get the new apple watch i hear it won’t work with your tattoos

i finish my oatmeal i finish my coffee i do the proper napkin thing i shrug i say

i’ll get over it i know i will

and the shake rattle and roll of the choco-loco choo choo rattles my wobbly knees as we roll to a stop at grand junction we’ll be here for an hour maybe ninety minutes we all pour out of the train they tell us to be back in time or we’ll be left on the side of the tracks

it’s a sunny saturday morning in grand junction and it’s the first of may and there’s a springtime street fair all a’happenin’ and it being colorado bah bah black sheep have you any wool yes sir yes sir a silver case full i light a celebratory phattie and wander around

the little mountain burgh a lovely village of mostly white folk those of us in the train we fit right in pale pasty pudgy and proud

puff-la baby

there are cowboys and cowgirls and girl scouts and skinhead lads with tattoos and iraqi veterans missing their mojo and latina chicks with working girl thighs that could crack almonds should they those crazy nuts be lucky enough to make it that far there are granola types wearing birkenstocks and t-shirts that proclaim rocky mountain high

lo johnny dee may ye and yer cocaine addled tie dyed self rest in peace

i buy and eat fresh berries of the blue and black variety lovingly vendored by a wholesome blonde germanic lady styling freckly shoulders around which is secured a sagging halter beneath a big grin and a wide-brimmed hat ejaculating a long feather that could be peacock that could be foghorn leghorn

and she slips easily into my spank bank for later use for later abuse

the best minds of our generation destroyed by madness starving hysterical naked mine simply eaten away like mad cow by vice and lust

by dice and mistrust

that’s ok that’s all right pack of wet matches i just need a light spark my flame ignite the gas i’m your personal molotov cocktail i’m your personal smirnoff cock’s tale gonna gonna give you a story to take home to momma

walk down a sidestreet over to the next block sneak a couple more tokes over the line sweet jesus digga digga my friend flicka wander into a book store i’m in need of a new read it’s quaint it’s musty it’s all flora and fauna i snap up the latest tc boyle it’s brand new it’s a first edition it’s autographed seems he came through here a few weeks ago

scribbled his john henry

my bookstore owner she too of solid german stock she is all atwitter in her recollection i know i wink that wink that i know she went home brought out the magic hitachi rolled around in tc’s morning dew she smiles she grins we talk the book talk she knows what she’s talking about i don’t i drop names do the ah yes do the no tell me more

i make up an author’s name i drop it i make up a book title i even quote a passage in the intercourse in the chit in the chat

all i want all i need it’s this urge to compete i want to leave her like tc did i want her whipping out the hitachi later tonight thinking about that stoned touristo who wandered in scratching on her screen

i offer to sign her diary she settles for my credit card voucher i guess there’s no hitachi memories around me tonight probably she googled and did not find my self-created author discovered he was a she who happened to be my insurance claims agent working out of overland kansas god i miss the pre-internet days when you could convincingly lie without recourse

but i am happy blissfully ignorant of my lack of game my mediocrity mushrooming into brilliance with each inhalation of the lebanese blonde hashish filled magic buddha bowl that i joyously discover at the bottom of my little shoulder bag my quasi biz leaning hip but not too young combo travel work man purse apparently i had a while ago smuggled it in from or more likely just forgot that i had purchased said hash from some guy at some bar or some hotel in some city somewhere in northern europe

or maybe it was bali hell i forget

anyway i happily wander back to the depot

god i love saying murmurring mouthing the word this word

depot

makes me feel like i’m living in black and white hanging out with bat masterson or the rifleman jingling jangling while i ride merrily along getting all last picture show with the cattle down by the stockyard

Rocky Mountain High

and i get back on the train i purchase myself a cold beer in a gooseneck bottle i settle into a nice chair in the view car with my newly autographed book i gobble down another choco-loco cannabinoid with extra vitamin dubya for wow

and the scenery from grand junction all the way down to denver flows by like a public television documentary in three dimensional four kay hi def with built in seat shakers the oohs the ahs rapid fire at first then as we grow accustomed slow down to a trickle then to a yawn magnificent can remain magnificent only so long before it too becomes the mundane such is the attention deficit that disorders that disrupts that spins that red rovers us over and over again

and lacking lack television we resort to conversation with each other

we the people of the california zephyr

there’s this kid he’s sitting up here in the view car with among us he says he’s twenty two he looks seventeen rather scraggly slow of speech i know him i mean i don’t know him personally but i know him i grew up with him hell i could have easily been him maybe i was him indeed maybe i am but hey i guess any of us could be any of the others it’s the luck of the draw it’s sweet serendipity i’m only from buttfuck south georgia coated with san francisco this kid he’s from somewhere in the godforsaken the god rediscovered god reimagined god reinvented tetons in wyoming small town

he says this kid he says looking out the top of the view car through the skylight gazing at the mountain peaks dipping into the clouds he says

you know why there’re so many ter’ble thunder and lightnin’ storms up in the tetons

i turn i’m game to learn something new old dogs new tricks my ass i say

no why

he leans forward in his seat elbow to knee he says touching the brim of his hat sporting a patch proudly proclaiming the virtues of iowa corn touching it with two fingers touching in that knowing way in that i’m about to lay some learning on you way the kid he says

it’s the metal in the mountains the ‘lectricity in the lightnin’ it’s attracted to the metal in the mountains

he sits back up satisfied that he has played his part in educating the world spreading truth where previously there was not i nod i say

where you going

he says leaning back toward me he says

heading all the way to boston then taking a bus up into maine gonna go meet up with my girlfriend

he gives me a knowing look tilts his head just that little bit speaks slightly out of the corner of his mouth he says looking around the car he says

she’s forty one and hot

i smile i grin i say i and i already know but i’m gonna ask anyway i like this kid but he irritates the shit out of me i don’t know why probably because i already know where he’s going i’m no better than my old man than my ignorant racist old uncles who would spot stereotype dismiss accept based on the flimsiest of criteria anyone and everyone i already know this guy he’s stuck in some rat fuck little town in buttfuck egypt he’s got no better internet than what’s on his pre-paid phone there’s gotta be something anything better than this shithole place gotta get outa here gotta find my way out i’m gonna bite at the first line with bait that i swim across if he’s lucky he travels across country finds a job at a dunkin donuts off the interstate in new hampshire because he couldn’t quite make it to maine while he gets his g.e.d. gets promoted to store manager lives in the back room of a couple who quit shooting crank almost a year ago they’re clean now and in counseling they work for him at the dunkin but more likely he gets to maine has all his money stolen by this chick’s ex who also happens to break his nose with a wicked right cross and he has to beg hitchhike his way back home to move back into old room at his mom’s apartment in the triplex out on south patterson i mean yeah i know this kid i feel for this kid i say

cool where did you meet her

he says

online

i smile

he says

on kik you know the messaging service

i give him a false knowing smile idiot nodding letting him know i am hip

he says

we’re in love man it’s pretty damn something

i say i’m the old european philosopher gentleman in some indie period film the one who chuckles at the folly of youth shakes his head with benevolent but sincere envy i say

my friend there is nothing like love to keep the heart going i’m happy for you

and i think his cock grows three inches as he sits back with another sort of satisfaction mine grows too maybe more than three as his april august romance reminds me of the twenty seven year old who talked seduced seventeen year old me out of my own virginity she spun me round rube that i was still am i thought i was in love i was a stupid long haired hippy redneck wannabe poet and

i wrote passionate yet cool love verses to jennifer

who had me fuck her upon the warm hood of my seventy one barracuda on a summer night out in the field behind the lions club pond we had just got off work at kmart

god i did love that woman and it was true love the kind of love bad poetry is made for she would say touch me here she would say touch me there and i would do anything she asked i danced the leonardo on the bow of her ship leaning out over the broad ocean no wire no net as long as she do to me like she do to me when she drop the dew on me

i had no idea i mean i had had contemplations i had had considerations i had been given a taste or two i sort of thought i sort of maybe hoped it could be but i gotta tell you i gotta let you know i had no idea i gotta tell you i was way off i had seriously undershot in my dreams

that woman that shit it drove me near about crazy that pussy it near about made me blind

and i don’t care i’d do it all over again

goddamn

i had not thought of jennifer in a long long time and i have my irritating new friend to thank and i do and then

another guy don’t know him he’s older than the kid he’s younger than me he’s got a pint of cap’n jack in his hand the cap is off and gone he walking stumbling by don’t know if he’s stumbling because he has a buzz on or if the train floor is wiggling beneath or both but he half grabs the back of the kids seat to hold on half leans in to clap the kid on the shoulder he says

hey there you are how’s it man wha’s goin’ on

he looks at me we do the eye to eye thing i see something he sees something his hand squeezes the kid’s shoulder i’m thinking maybe it ain’t the ex who is going to steal the kid’s money it’s this guy his hair is long and greasy he sports yoga pants and a university of nevada reno rebels basketball sleeveless basketball jersey he does the combo cocky swayback leanback while holding on tensing his biceps going peacock giving us a show he says from out of left field maybe he can already read what i’m thinking he says

hell man we’re generation ex we ain’t supposed to amount to anything

i smile a tight smile i say

shit brother you ain’t got a corner on that activity any fool can fuck up and piss all over hisself that ain’t a talent that’s just something we all inherit from our mommas

he shakes his head in that slow mo way fake smile that says if you wasn’t an old man i’d have to smack you to defend whatever little honor i got left but you be too old and i’m gonna let it pass that makes me the good guy

and i excuse myself to go fetch another beer and chew on another chocolate maryjane firecracker and when i return could have been five minutes could have been thirty don’t know within this time tunnel that is this train they’re gone i feel bad maybe i could have helped the kid how i don’t know how what i could give him a hundred dollar bill i could say listen kid get off at denver and go home don’t really think that would help bandaid on a festering shotgun wound but i’m also relieved i don’t want to deal i want to just be and observe i want to be the opposite of fight club

i don’t want to feel

and i meet scotty he’s from tennessee he’s a little older than me he’s got a beer in a hand connected to a thick omega-watch sporting wrist connected to a large darkly tanned arm disappearing into the short sleeves of a brooks brother madras shirt comprising a myriad of horrid pastels white hairs somehow poking up through from beneath from some other worldly environment poking up between the threads white wigglies probably attached to the thick arms probably tied into the rather barrel chest and beer suds gut resting atop two skinny stork legs whose ghostly pale is only partially covered by baby snot green golf shorts while they dip down into a worn pair of sperry topsiders

it’s as if i am now paying penance for thinking of jennifer this hell of my youth has returned to warn me of impending imminent and everlasting damnation this vision of scotty is everything all rolled up into one persona everyone who ran me out of south georgia so many years decades ago

but scotty is a fucking riot he’s cracking jokes stupid self-deprecating jokes about idiot crackers ignorant rednecks blondes mexicans a-rabs good old boys with and without farm animals he’s jerry clower richard pryor archie bunker in country club attire before long he’s got me reeled in we’re cracking jokes back and forth he looks out the window we’re passing perhaps the most beautiful meadow either of us has ever seen he leans over toward the seat on the other side he gently elbows an older gentleman from australia traveling with his wife daughter son-in-law and teenage grandkids

scotty he says looking at the gent looking back out the window he says sweeping his arm in a kingly manner he says

hey you know i’m thinking about developing that property gonna be a nice golf course next time you swing by this way i’m looking for a marketing agent in new zealand send people up my way what do you think you interested

looks at him all serious like keeping the gaze connecting eyeballs all dale carnegie waiting for an answer mister australia all flustered he puts his hands on the seat’s armrests like he’s about to push himself up to a full height then sits back down he says

well i think well um you mean you are going to build a golf course on this

he nods his head toward the window toward the vast meadow we’re still traversing above he says

on this meadow

scotty not blinking an eye keeping his gaze he says

yes

scotty he pauses takes a five count he says

what do you think pretty cool huh gonna build me a big old clubhouse right up there under that ridge right up into the stone like a fortress and it will be well because

scotty he looks around the car he lowers his voice he says

well because you never know when the trouble’s gonna start knowhattamean

mistress australia she leans across her husband who is still trying to figure out scotty she says

yes

she says with a firm nod of the head she says

yes we do indeed

and scotty turns back to me where only i can see him lifts his eyebrows in that holy jesus fuck it’s simply amazing all you gotta do is drop your net drop it anywhere you gonna catch something sort of way

and a long legged lady in tall boots and a short skirt she comes walking up slides her hand onto scottie’s shoulder from behind scotty he looks up at her scotty he does the polite introduction thing he’s southern she’s sheila they are traveling companions scotty he gives me a wink sheila she smiles a green eyed smile from behind ruby red lips she offers a hand that i take into mine i say

pleasure to meet you miss sheila a pleasure indeed

scotty gets up gives her his seat he goes to fetch another beer sheila she sits down props her boot up on the ledge running beneath the view car window the skirt slides back she notices my noticing we talk we chit we chat she lives in alabama northern alabama scotty he lives east of memphis they’ve known each other for years more years than she can count

she tells me about living on the river outside of florence she tells me about doing her own thing don’t shed on me live and let live she’s got a gun she’s got three a shotgun a rifle and just in case she keeps a little twenty five automatic in her purse she makes her own money she owns property she’s beholden to no one she’s got a bucket list two weeks ago she zoomed down a four hundred yard zip line checked that one off she looks after her kids of course she talks about her son

and it turns out he’s my age and i’m taking off my shoes needing extra digits to count and do my maths

i mean i’m double nickels i like the idea of older don’t you know i got that older thing going on going back to day one

oh jennifer

but if i’m her son’s age then that sort of implies that she is my mom’s age

so i’m trying to digest this latest little piece of information but she my friend miz sheila she doesn’t really give me much time to analyze deduce contemplate she’s on to the next thing talking about her dogs she likes them better than her kids her truck she’s got a big truck

she likes them big she says as she looks directly at my crotch and winks

and i smile i grin i blush i begin to stutter out a thanks when scotty he walks back glass of wine in hand he gives it to sheila pulls a heineken out of his back pocket offers it to me i graciously accept he pulls out another one we pop them open we all toast

i get up offer my chair to scotty he accepts i stand squat between them and we chat for a while i try not to look at sheila she scares me scotty he’s back on his roll sheila she goes quiet she reads her book after a while i fade away and let them be

and sheila looks up and takes my hand as i walk past her stops me has me lean over she whispers she says

hey just so you know me and scotty we’re just traveling companions that’s all know what i mean we’re not romantic know what i mean

and she gives me that full body scan and it makes me just a wee bit nervous that i get a stirring that my cock starts to move and she sees it move and i see her seeing it move and i get more nervous and then i get a bigger stirring

until i say

thanks for telling me that miz sheila that’s cool

and turn and wander off my cock pointing outward like a divining rod a nervous gurgle emanating from my throat like a geiger counter gone wild getting closer and closer to its source until i thankfully return to my roomette where i shut the door shut the curtain sit down and sigh and close my eyes for a few

my cock drops curls back up gets all cozy in the cotton

The Road to Nowhere

and after a while after some serious meditation on the disparate subjects of derivatives and theoretical chemistry i get up wander to the dining car i have dinner with the train nut from lake merrit and this youngish couple from england jack sprat and his fat wife they’re decked out in proto british post punk leather and black donning black tee shirts supporting both black flagg and mission to burma and fatchick tells him what and how to eat and has him order dessert after he has already declined makes him run down and tell the waiter no he had changed his mind because she wants two desserts and she answers questions directed at mister sprat and complains about pretty much everything american and is miffed when i suggest perhaps they’re respective tee shirts represent american punk music albeit at a time when their mums were wiping their fat little arses perhaps they still do perhaps they are the sort of sick british fucks who have the same mum who have a little brother big sister living out in the midlands on the farm kind of thing going on

but i make the best of it they are making their way to memphis they’re going to graceland and it all begins to make sense to me my powers of stereotyping coming back into play

turns out she is fresh out of school her third degree she has some fellowship doing something with libraries and some fairly cool altruistic shit and he her skinny boy slave he works for cisco in field support her parents are funding an around the world trip she describes it to me they flew from london to new zealand drove across new zealand flew to tokyo for two days flew to san diego for two days

visited the zoo

flew to vegas stayed at the tropicana yes the tropicana stayed two days caught a bus up to reno where they boarded the zephyr heading to new york new york where she will shop probably at filene’s for two days before flying home

whose world they just circled i don’t know but tis a world tis someone’s world indeed

thankfully we stop in denver we have thirty minutes i walk around smoke a large conical phattie in a very short time almost like i’m huffing glue from a paper bag i’m fucking hyperventilating this jesus cig until i can pass no sobriety test i get back on the train on the wrong car don’t figure it out until i notice that my roomette ain’t where it’s supposed to be wander back through the view car back through the dining car find my palace within the palace

i’m feeling like artemis fucking gordon and

i eat some non-espresso’d choco-loco i pull out my scratch pad and scribble over the rumbling steel and under the moonlight just like old abe lincoln with a piece of charcoal until i am until i fall asleep pen in hand drool and ink and streaks of black coal on the sheet when i awake

and i know i had a long day last night

waking from this drug induced nightlong walter mitty dreamfest i push myself up i look out the window i blink i rub my eyes i look out into the morning to find i’m in lincoln nebraska sun coming up over the water tank in the railyard outside i can count four people on the platform one wears a big ten gallon hat he’s got a beautiful leather rifle case assumedly with rifle therein leaning up against his rollerbag he’s lighting a cigarette he’s the fucking marlboro man where’s ben fucking cartwright i wonder if she’s there this very minute i think i can smell her i am knowing right now her lips her tits she’s from here you know she’s from lincoln raised a rich doctor’s debutante daughter daddy’s girl gone bad before she too moved to san francisco she’s one of the significant she’s from my past not necessarily a bad thing definitely not necessarily a good thing but i smile that wistful smile i feel an involuntary stirring from fucks past

the kind of fucks that stay with you that linger

but by omaha i’m showered and she and lincoln are forgotten and i’m walking down to the end of the platform for a little wake and bake two hours and two choco-loco beans later i’m skipping breakfast taking my coffee i’m soaring in the view car where i find my new best friends sheila and scotty

i sit down with them we entertain ourselves with stories some true some not quite some outright lies who the fuck cares i’ll never see them again they’ll never see me again we’re all just here right now might as well enjoy ourselves ain’t no time for preachin’ or politickin’

we pass through osceola iowa what the fuck is a town in iowa doing being named after a florida seminole war chief gotta look that one up when i get back

we cross the mississippi right across this forty seven thousand year old steel trellis bridge up and over the mighty mississippi river on a choo choo train that ribbon of brown blue green rippling running rushing water reaching so wide she has her own horizon them midwestern clouds all a’puffy sitting up there like they hanging on strings bouncing over water land it’s all pretty much the same the current of the water the chop the little breakers providing more peaks and troughs than can be seen on the vast size fifty six granny panties stretched out hanging on the clothesline in the backyard ugly-ass expanse that is the land trying to squeeze the water in

oh goddam so lovely not a bad way to spend the afternoon

nebraska iowa illinois pretty fucking boring miles and miles of nowhere plopped down in the middle of nowhere plopped down into a bigger nowhere jesus couldn’t find them so that they had to reinvent him in their own image

and the nebraska jay man is one fierce motherfucker in his righteousness

the australians come wandering back through the view car and scotty he sees them he smiles the grin of peace love and understanding he beckons to them he bids them a good day asks of their health asks if they enjoyed their breakfast then

taking the hand of the family matron scotty he leans over and says quite quietly he says

and hey when you go home please don’t tell all the good folks back in new zealand about us

you know

be kind

and she puts her hand over his she gives him a silent serious nod

they head on through maybe to the dining car maybe all the way back to the caboose where they are going to leap off the end of the train and run as fast as they can back to melbourne

and we me scotty sheila we settle back in our seats we watch the nothingness of the midwest continue to slide slip and slither on by mesmerizing in its splotchy canvas hypnotizing us into catnaps of short duration interrupted by the random sudden jiggles of the train coaxed back into slumber by the steady pacifying rumble of steel rolling upon steel

my head bobbing like baseball stadium swag

until i feel a warm smooth hand sliding softly along the inside of my thigh moving up into the open leg of my high fallutin’ cargo shorts my nap at first incorporating the feeling into my own special annie dreams with an oh baby an oh sugar then the realization waking me up making me jump my left eye opens it’s shelia leaning over whispering into my ear that we should maybe head back to the roomette there’s probably a better view there

scotty is still sleeping in his seat on the other side of her his jaw slack a bit of a snore tickling his upper lip

both my eyes open

and i’m admittedly a little flustered my older woman fantasy is blown out of the water i try to summon the spirit of jennifer but i conjure only my mother

bless her little heart

manages to poke herself in wagging her finger at me scolding me telling me i’m a bad bad boy and i sit up and cross my legs dropping sheila’s hand allowing it to swing free and i say whoa well i think we get into chicago in about four hours and shelia she says looking right at me she says

exactly

and i suggest that maybe i need to drop downstairs to the bar car find myself a libation get myself a beer and i do i stand up my legs a little wobbly my balance a little unsteady i make my way down the spiral stairway my erect cock bouncing against the stair rail verticals like a playing card attached to the bike wheel slapping the spokes

buy myself a couple of cold ones and head back to my own roomette

alone

to drink by myself as i gaze out in anticipation of chicago

Should i try to do some more/25 or 6 to 4

two and half days after i started two evenings falling to sleep to the sound of the clackety clack two days hanging chilling chatting talking playing with fellow citizens riding the rail being ourselves being someone else pretending lying being brutally honest hanging all by myself for hours all alone in my roomette writing feeling joy feeling guilt feeling misery feeling depressed feeling elated smiling crying laughing titillating being titillated

and not jacking off not even once

and chicago it doesn’t even come into view it’s raining we go into some tunnel or some freight yard or some freight yard in a tunnel i don’t even see it coming and all of a sudden there she is we’re there the wheels are squealing squeaking the brakes moaning grinding

like a lizard getting its belly rubbed

and we’re there lights bright chicago union station in all its past and present glory its platforms all stretched out within the cavernous structure that greets accepts stores maintains and send along their way the great trains of the midwest connecting here to there bringing there to here

i’m all packed up i lug my bags down the hallway i find karen at the door slip a general grant into her palm give her a hug thank her for her kind attention hop out onto the platform make my way to the grand old terminal polished marble richly oiled maple the approaching smell of stale urine

i look back over my shoulder and all that

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