So….Is This How Sardines Feel?

…This all happened this past Monday 10/21/13.

Just another day on the Santa Teresa train headed south for the evening.  Everyone looks tired, and ready to go home.  No one is talking.  No one is exchanging pleasantries.  Right now, these next few moments will be focused on making it to the house.

4:30?  The train’s a little late today…and only one car?  No worries.  I’m just ready to go home.  Hold on….It’s a little more occupied than normal.  So, no back seat viewing for me.  Hopefully, it won’t get too crowded.

“Excuse me ma’am while I sit my rather large brown body next to yours.  Don’t worry, I’m not contagious.”  That’s what I was thinking as the lady I sat next to cringed when I sat down beside her.

According to our conductor, there was some sort of bio hazard that caused the train to drop off one of it’s cars.  Which explained our smart car like ride today.  So, what you end up having is tons of folk crammed into one train car headed south.  How did it feel?  Cramped and uncomfortable all while moving fast as lightning down the tracks.

Whoops.  Now we know why it’s so important to hold onto the straps while standing on a moving train.  Apparently some phantom deer hopped across the tracks, or better yet, some ignant (yes, I said ignant) person driving a Prius cut my man off while we were rumbling our way down the tracks.  Stay alert people, because…thar she blows!  Several unfortunate souls went tumbling down the middle aisle because someone had a heavy foot when it came to the brakes.

Everyone seemed to gather themselves rather well after playing human bowling.  Stop after stop, we all noticed that more people were boarding the 4:30 Santa Teresa than were getting off.  That made for some very uncomfortable folk.  Fortunately, no one was mean or rude about or small accommodations.  One gentlemen even helped lighten the mood by offering a new rider some space on the train by saying:  “hold on brotha, let me suck in my gut, and you’ll have some space to squeeze in.”

Wait….what’s that smell?  Oh dear lord.  Did someone just fart?  Sweet Jesus, it smelled like someone swallowed a dead skunk….and wait!  Why does it seem like the heat is on…..OH GOD…I’m choking!  It’s getting worse by the second.  I can’t breathe!…and if this lady beside me nods one more time & rests her head on my shoulder while snoring like its midnight, I might scream!  (Am I being a tad dramatic?….maybe, but having tons of folks in an overly crowded, and poorly ventilated tin can will cause you to be the same way)

Whew, we FINALLY made it to my stop.  I’ve never been so glad to breathe fresh air in all my life.  I really needed that.  Oh, and thank you miss lady for finally realizing that my shoulder isn’t a pillow, and I don’t have the cooties.  Wow, when a person warms up to me…they really get comfortable, huh?

What a day.  What a ride.  Now, It’s time for that 1.5 mile walk to the house.  Uh oh!  Almost had another human bowling experience up close and personal.  Ladies…a word of advice.  If you know that you’re gonna be riding the train, and you have to walk to your final destination…please wear walking shoes instead of heels.  This lady in front of me almost learned that lesson the hard way.  That is all.

 

Until next time…

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A Letter Of Apology

Hey y’all.  It’s me.  The black man thinking.  I know it’s been a long while since my last post.

I could tell you all about me spending these last couple of weeks finding the meaning of life.  All while traveling to the far reaches of the earth looking for life’s mysteries.  Or maybe I’ll tell you about me going to places only seen on television and the internet solving world hunger and helping to end the war…..everywhere.

Truth is…if I said any of those things, I would most definitely be lying.  I ain’t done none of that.  Truth be told, I just got a little lazy.  “Oh, I’ll write something tomorrow”  or “I’ve got some free time this weekend.  I’ll do it then.”  All tiny little fibs I was telling myself.

You see, writing is like exercising.  You need to do it all the time in order to keep a healthy rhythm and a great pace.  If you stop for any reason, you need to put in twice the work the very next day to keep that flow going.  I wasn’t doing that.

Now I’m not saying that I’m about to be the Olympic triathlete of blog writing, but I will do better.  I gotta get my act together.  I have far too many thoughts floating inside this brain of mine to not put them down on virtual paper.

So, here ye here ye!  Today I make it known that I will do better.  I will write more, and I will give the people what they want (oh, if you want to know my thoughts on something…just ask, and I’ll write about it).

Here I am, formally apologizing for my shortcomings and vowing to write more consistently.

Peace and Love,

Mel

 

PS

If you see me around, feel free to ask me if I wrote something today.

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Cruise Control

Cruise Control

Ok.  Picture this.  You’ve had a long, long day at the office.  Work has beaten you down.  You’re tired physically.  Mentally, you seem to be in another world.  With all of that, you still have to stay focused on the task at hand…which is getting home.  So, to keep your mind at ease, you set your speed to cruise control as you coast down the familiar path from work to home.

Getting home in one piece seems to be a challenge when Toyota Prius drivers want to cut you off at every opportunity they see fit.  WooooSaaaaaah, is all you can say as you breathe steadily and work your way south down the freeway.  What was once a smooth commute south on the 101 has drastically changed into a weave fest from lane to lane trying to avoid, seemingly, the worst drivers on the planet.

—(This is where I take over)

Apply the blinker.  Check.  Look into all your mirrors.  Check, check, and check.  Glance over your right shoulder.  Check.

Ok, now glide Big Baby over into the next lane so I can prepare to exit.  DANGIT!  There goes one of those *%$@% Prius drivers speeding up when they see me changing into “their” lane.  Really dude!?!  You’re the one that invaded my space.  Now you look at me like I’ve wronged you.  (Pardon me while I vent)  Like I was saying before being so rudely interrupted, change lanes and prepare to exit.

Finally I’ve reached my exit, and I’m parked at this red light.  Just 5 minutes away from the house, and total relaxation.  I can see it now.  Shoes off.  Shorts and a t-shirt on.  Television on.  Sipping a cool beverage.  Probably some kool-aid or pink lemonade.

All I have to do is make it down this hill.  Go through 3 lights.  Then I will be in the comfort of my own home.

I coast down the hill, and what do I see?  Some crazed man running into the road waving his hands like something is wrong.  So, I pull over to see what the issue is.  Maybe I can be the good samaritan and help him out.

HA!  What an idiot I am.  The joke’s on me.  Ole buddy didn’t need help.  He was helping…the great state of California, that is.  This “fine gentleman” (for lack of a better word) was one of Cali’s finest.  He was tucked away behind a bush with his handy dandy radar gun.  Apparently I just got caught in a speed trap.  Shoot!

Mel:  (as I shake my head) I can’t believe I let this fool pull me over.  I should’ve just drove off and pretended I thought he was a crazy man.  He better not ask me a stupid question either.

—The dude knocks on my window…then I roll it down extra slllllooooooooooooowly.

Officer:  You know what the speed limit is on this road?

Mel:  (thinking to myself:  “Yup…never fails.  They always ask dumb questions.”)  I think the limit is about 45 or 50.

Officer:  NO!  It’s 40 (as he shoves the radar gun in my face).  I clocked you doing 53.

Mel:  (thinking to myself:  “One inch closer patnah and you may draw back a nub.  Who am I kidding?  Jail ain’t for me.  So, hush up Mel.”)  Sooo is there some type of fine involved?

Officer:  Sure is (as he prints out the ticket).  You will receive a notice in the mail.  Follow the instructions and go from there.

Mel:  Yah.  Got it (as I took the slip of paper in disgust and drove off).

—At home

Now, getting pulled over didn’t scare me.  It just agitated me.  Staring the cop in the face didn’t phase me.  It just rubbed me the wrong way how the officer acted (granted, I probably didn’t give him any reasons to be a nice guy).

What scared me?  Maaaaaaan…..telling my wife the accountant!  DuhDuhDuuuuuuuuuuuh!

…to be continued…

 

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Light Rail Diaries 8.26.13 (Afternoon Edition)

8.26.13
Afternoon Edition

Got her man!

Yup. Another victim for the light rail PO-leese. Her notepad was humming as she wrote out the fine for the young man who neglected to buy that $2 ticket to board the train. Looked like she was thinking “what an idiot.”

“Really?” That’s what he mouthed as he saw her board the train heading south on the tracks. The look on his face was priceless. But there was nothing he could do.

It’s true that you don’t know the story of the person standing next to you. I’m sure that the gentleman that was pulled off the train today was more than able to pay his way from one end of San Jo to the other.

I still don’t get it. Why don’t folk just spend the cash to avoid a fine that’s gonna set them back a couple Benjamin’s? Common sense people.

There is a lesson to be learned here. If you are going to take a risk that may hurt you in the future, make sure that your payoff is well worth that risk. Also be prepared to face the penalties if your boldness does not come through.

Welp….like my father says: “ayyyy lawd.” Another one bites the dust.

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Light Rail Diaries 8.26.13 (Morning Edition)

8.26.13

Morning Edition

Another cool morning.  Another relaxing walk to the train station.  Fresh air leads to a fresh start to a new week.

The train was unusually crowded this morning.  That only made today’s ride a little longer, because of all the short delays.  Oh yeah, that’s right…school is in session.  I was wondering why all these young faces were out so early.  Some looked chipper and ready to get to work.  While others had that undeniable look of dread.

Here we are, the northbound Santa Clara train overflowing with folk from nearby places of business and education…the students far outnumbered we, the working citizens.  It was OK.  We all had that common goal of wanting to safely get to our destinations.

Seeing all these young folk (listen to me sounding like a well aged man…next thing you know, I’ll be calling them “whipper snappers” and “young bucks”) with their books, bags, and supplies made me wonder.  “What if we (working class folk) had a summer vacation?”  That would be frickin’ awesome!

Could you imagine not wanting to quit your job or “bless” your boss out, because you’re gonna get a 3 month break in June?  What about the fact that you know that for three whole months, you could stay up as late as you want, and get up as late as you want.  Work…HA!  Not for me!  I’ll get back to that place in September.

It would be the most fantastical (I was being silly when I wrote this word…no clue it was actually in Webster’s.  Go figure) idea ever created.  Think about it.  No need to use your vacation days just to recharge your batteries.  Always knowing that the best times of year to travel are all your’s because you’re free to do what you want.  Having three months to job search in case you decided to flip tables, chairs, and fingers on your way out to begin your vacay.  Yup, thats pretty awesome.

Alas, it will never happen, because this is the real world.  Unless one of us wins the lottery (which reminds me…gotta pick up a ticket today), three month vacations are a thing for students, rich folks, and the imaginations of people like us.

It’s all good though. Going to work gives me an opportunity to do different things, make tons of money (yeah right), and see so many things that inspire me to be a thinking black man.  Enjoy the rest or your day.

 

Mel

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