Not a Typical Morning


There was a terrible train accident today on the route I use to get to and from The Big City.

When I arrived at the train station, a garbled voice boomed through the horn speakers mounted on the faux-antique lamp posts.  The announcement went something like this:

“Attention all passengers on the Boondocks Central Line: due to an accident near the SmallTownVille station involving a FREIGHT TRAIN, the service on the Boondocks Central Line has been halted.  Passengers may wish to find alternate transportation.  Repeat, due to a FREIGHT TRAIN accident at a gate crossing near the SmallTownVille station, all service on the Boondocks Central Line has been suspended.  There is no estimated time to restore service …”

I almost crapped in my pants.  Because Monday was a holiday, I was already down a full day’s pay (no, I don’t get paid for holidays, and the fact that I can’t help it doesn’t mean jack), so I’ve been working an extra couple of hours each day trying to recover some of the loss.  Here I am, freaking out.  How am I going to get to work?  There’s no way I can find “alternate transportation”, and driving my poor ol’ jalopy into The Big City is out of the question.  Especially since it’s in need of repair right now.

The parking lot of the station seemed pretty empty.  I knew whatever happened, it happened much earlier.  Many of the people who normally take the train abandoned the idea before I ever got there.  As the thunder clapped above and the world lit beneath the strobe flash of lightning from the low-hanging belly of clouds (a nice touch to the gloomy start to the day, btw), fat raindrops assailed the impervious surfaces around me and died in violent explosions of mist to rush in miniature freshets across the asphalt.  I sat in the car and prayed.

When the rain abated enough to go into the station house, I found a large group of older people, most of whom I didn’t recognize.  They must be regulars on another train, because they all knew one another.  Well, most did.  They laughed at a joke I just missed as I sauntered through the door.  They spoke about whether they should send someone named Eddie for breakfast, and if things go too long, they could order from a local restaurant to have lunch delivered.  My heart sank.

I tried not to eavesdrop as the loudmouthed crew continued griping about the situation.  They were upset because of its duration; they stated  how usually a crane or similar device is brought down to push the train away.  More laughter, more grumbling.  The mood of the crowd sobered.  The “experts” came out then.

You know the “experts” — they’re the ones who have all the answers, regardless of the topic.  You can catch a conversation about cars, and the “experts” will be opining about what’s best, what’s great, what’s crap, all the how-to’s, and talking with great authority about whatever it is, and they’re experts on cars at that time.  Or the topic of politics, either national or regional, will arise, and of course they all have solutions for all social ills and problems, and this candidate is best for that reason, or that candidate is best for this reason, etc.  Or, maybe the topic is sports.  Oh, Lord, sports!!  Then the experts come in droves!  Everyone with a newspaper subscription knows everything ever knowable about sports!  Baseball!  Football!  Basketball!  (Almost never hockey.  I find that strange.)  The thick upper Midwestern accents, with harsh vowels and nasally twang, rips loud and reverberating over the tiled floors and concrete walls, scratching my nerves like nails on a chalkboard.

The “experts” decided they (and by “they”, the “experts” meant “the transit authorities and/or police — whoever’s in charge, of course”) should just push (I believe “scrape” was the term they bandied) the wreck to the side of the tracks and have done with it.  Let the trains run again.  Hmph.  Indubitably!  Without question!  The “experts” have consensus, what is left to ask?

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18 thoughts on “Not a Typical Morning

  1. Raga6

    Wow, what a shitty morning. That poor person or persons. It’s really sad those train morons couldn’t and didn’t stop to think about the lives of the people affected by the sadness of the morning. I feel for those who will be truly suffering because of this.

    Also, people really suck. Sadly, I’m not surprised no one cared about the poor victims. This is a me, me ,me society we live in now. This is why I can’t stand the masses. All selfish, stupid sheep baaing at each other thinking they are all smarter and better than all the other sheep.

    I hope your weekend is better than today.

  2. Raga — Oh, hon, I’m glad to see you. I’ve been thinking about you LOADS lately. Hope you and the gang are doing great.

    You’re right — we live in a very selfish society. Probably not just here either, but worldwide. In general, people are all about “Number 1” and everyone else — family included! — comes second … or less.

    I’m better now, but it shook me pretty hard to think about what might’ve happened to the person or people in the car. Especially after I saw what was left. I’m hoping … well, I don’t know what I’m hoping. But I’m still praying.

    And as much as the “experts” irritated me, I’m afraid I’m as callous (if not as orally flatulent) as they are. I had a moment of less such, but maybe it was only a moment. When does a dick ever know he’s a dick? I’ll always wonder.

    Thanks for coming by, hon, and I hope you have a great weekend too. 🙂

  3. Now that I’m back online, I tried looking up the report again in the news, and I can’t find anything more than just a freight incident. Perhaps it was just a car that stalled on the tracks, because I’d think if there were injuries, those would be reported, right? LTY

  4. Fal — Maybe. I tried looking for it on the train company’s site, and they had bupkes too. *Shrug* False alarm, maybe? Nobody hurt, nothing to worry about? It’d be my luck the one time I’m a sensitive human being, it was for NOTHING *Ms. Bitters’ voice*. 😉

    LTY2.

  5. Raga6

    I LMAO off your orally flatulent! Too funny, even when you’re down. 😉 Plus I think most dicks know they are being dicks most of the time, they just act like they don’t. Also, you aren’t a dick. Just a little jaded. But so am I so it’s okay! 😀

    If you need to talk or hear me babble away about nothing you know I’m easy to reach so if you need some Dr. Raga time the doctor is in and a phone call away.

  6. Raga — ROLFLMFAO … AT WORK! Too much, hon.

    We should schedule a conference call with you, Sherri and us, and just everybody let their hair down and de-stress. Especially my fat ass. I need it.

    😉

  7. Pingback: Something Phenomenal … « DarcNess

  8. Congrats on being recognized for such a great piece. I’m just so sorry that it had to be such a tragic situation that prompted it. Isn’t it crazy how God doesn’t let anything go wasted? Even your crappy morning, He’s using for good. Not that getting recognized makes the accident worth it, but I hope you know what I’m saying. He’s redeeming even this.

  9. Casey — I do know, hon. You’re right – when I wrote the piece, I didn’t have a clue it would — never mind how MUCH — have such impact on people. Hundreds of them came by to tell me how it touched them. It was … weird. But all glory to God. I just dumped some text out. The rest is His work.

    Thanks for visiting, hon. 🙂

  10. Bryce — Thanks, bud. I wish I could accept the compliment out of hand, but to be honest, that sort of concern for my fellow man is rare for me too. I’m a jackass that way.

    Thanks for coming by and reading it though. The response this piece got on deviantART was amazing — it was awarded a “Daily Deviation” and brought to the front page of the community. It got something like 2400 views in a day, and I’ve got almost 200 comments, all of them along the lines of what you said here. I guess it spoke to people.

    Thank you again. I’m hoping this represents the new me.

  11. When I started reading, I thought this was fiction. Then I read the comments, so I now I presume it is true. A terrible story. I mean, a good terrible story. Does that make any sense?

    It is true; and yes, you’re making perfect sense. Thank you. 🙂

    Back in my Catholic school days, the nuns would have us pray every time an ambulance or fire truck raced by the school. Most of what they taught me in Catholic school I gave up on long ago, but I still do that. Well, my form of prayer anyway. And I don’t advocate prayer in schools, but perhaps an acknowledgment that another human being is in trouble, wouldn’t be a bad thing.

    I do advocate prayer in school; that’s one of the uses. I don’t remember being told to do that in my Catholic school days, but I still do it. I can’t say I always have, but I do now. Not every time, Lord knows. But I do it.

    You’re right in your last comment up there–this piece does bring up a lot.

    It seems to strike something in folks. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

  12. I’ve never met another former Catholic school student who remembers the nuns telling them to pray for ambulances and such. Maybe my memory is faulty or maybe it was particular to my school for some reason–but I’m glad they did it or that I just think they did.

    Either way, it’s a nice thing to do. But I think it’s even cooler if you only thought they did, and you were actually the one responsible. 🙂

    At least in my story no people were killed–but a family’s livelihood was wiped out. And I felt sorry for the cows munching grass and standing around on a beautiful September day–and then along we came… I didn’t want to post bloody pictures because, well, it seemed gratuitous. It is hard believe you didn’t have something intelligent to say, but you’re not ever required to comment.

    I didn’t have a camera to take pictures … thank God. The scene was gruesome enough with just twisted metal and broken glass. Seeing something like you did would be hard to stomach on a lot of levels, I think. And I have surprised myself plenty with how often I have nothing intelligent to say. My wife’s a saint, I tells ya.

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