Day 138: Three Empty Boxes

OK, bitch.

That’s tough talk from a three day loser. Take it for what you will.

I just finished an email to newly in touch old friend in which I describe my recent and record string of fail as an unplanned hiatus or an all out fuck up. Since I’m only accountable to me I’m tempted to light on myself, but that might not be all that productive. So let’s say I go instructional instead. That’s guilt inducing and constructive at the same time.

One of the tenants of the Seinfeldian Chain is that it’s addictive to keep putting little X’s in the boxes. That having a string makes you want to add to that string. It makes you want to avoid a gap like it’s the little red X version of getting pantsed in gym class–speaking of little and red. I am here to say I’ve thought of little else since I started this three day run of empty boxes.

The trouble is creating the gap at all, because once you’ve done that it feels like you just abandoned your power. Imagine a train muscling along the track: car after car after graffiti tagged car. Traffic backs up on either side of the crossing. Drivers put it into P or neutral and set the parking break. They roll down their windows and enjoy the evening air or curse. Either way this impenetrable locomotive commands them to stop. To take notice. To change their pathetic little plans. I am unstoppable! Then the last car rounds up the herd and lumbers by. The steel thunder fades. The blinking red lights abruptly don’t. The ding-ding arms go up. A gap.

“Fuck you train. I won’t be late for dinner now. Ha HA!”

The power resides in the continuity and the connectivity. If you can keep the gaps short the arms stay down. The lights blink. The thunder lulls but doesn’t die. A second locomotive appears on the horizon.

“Dammit. I bought ice-cream at the grocery for shit’s sake.”

Hopefully this entry will be the first of 863 more cars. Hopefully I can melt your vanilla.

I think I can.

Word count: 376

Day 47: The Burlington Northern Santa Fe

I hear the train’s whistle. Distance blends the wail with the depth of night sounds. And the crickets nearer.

My directions to visitors state that I am three miles from where the tracks cross Elm. All ten East/West streets in Crowell are named after trees making four more trees than we have in the city park.

Trains used to stop here. There is a eroded concrete and railroad tie platform as a testament to that bit of Americana. All we get now is the whistle. At two in the morning, the sound is a warning to get out while you still can. All the cars in Crowell and nearly all in Johnsman county have been parked so long the engines are cool. No one is idling at Elm or Oak or Cottonwood waiting for the BNSF.

I try not to imagine that she is though. The top of her once-red Monte Carlo down, June bugs gathering in the headlamps because it’s a long one, her counting graffitied coal cars, and being hypnotized by the gaps between each.

I try not to imagine her putting it back in drive.

[a whole series of stuff not to imagine]

I do try to imagine she’s not dead.

Word count: 198