Light Rail Diaries: 11.18.13

Light Rail Diaries

11/18/13

Ok, so I got off today on time around 4 pm.  The short walk to the freedom was a welcome stroll until….the cold chill of Jack Frost gave me a quick 1, 2 to the jaw when I opened the office door.  “This weather is NOT the business,” is what I muttered as I struggled to make it outside.

As I began my walk to the train station I noticed something.  Winter is in full effect!  Anybody that knows me knows that I’m a man that loves the warmth of summer.  Winter chills and hot, heavy clothes rank real low on my “favorites” list.

Today on the train, I saw several people that could make arguments for either case of loving or hating winter time.  They all made compelling “arguments.”  One individual even decided to play in the middle of the road.

First, there was this couple that sat beside me on our two seater bench seat.  These two were all cuddled up generating body heat like they were an electric heater.  Wait…what?  “C’mon bro.  I know it’s chilly, but y’all don’t need to be cramping me over here by the window because y’all wanna make a human s’more.”  My facial expression must’ve given away how I was feeling, because they put their love session on pause and moved to another seat.

The second instance of our wintertime argument came right before I got off the train.  There was a gentleman sitting close to the door.  He was bundled up as if it were 40 degrees outside.  A little overdone, but I could feel his pain.

Apparently, I don't hide my facial expressions very well.

Apparently, I don’t hide my facial expressions very well.

In his hand was a brown bag with what looked like a 40 ounce “beverage” enclosed.  From time to time he would take a sip.  Whenever the doors opened, allowing winter’s cold chill to invade our space, he would take a deep gulp.  As I walked passed him, I asked…”rough day?”  He responded with…”bro, you don’t know the half.”

I gave him a customary head nod to acknowledge his discomfort.  As I got off the train to head home, I told him to “take it easy” while he responded with “keep it warm.”  We both smiled as I left, and he took another gulp of his cold remedy.

Now, I’ve given you an example of folk who seemed to enjoy the cold weather.  Then I showed you how others, like myself, think it’s not their favorite time of year.  I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about the gentleman I saw board the train who seemed to teeter on both sides of the spectrum.  This guy, who we’ll call Joe, boarded the train shortly after the smores couple vacated my seat.  He proceeded to stroll to the rear of the train and sat directly behind me.

Now Joe seemed a bit confused to me.  He wore one of those knit caps with the little poofy ball on the top.  He also sported a full beard to keep his face warm.  Saying that his beard was full would be an understatement.  The length of it would surely allow him to be a full fledged member of the Duck Dynasty family.  He would make Si a proud man.

Here is where it got a little weird.  My man was dressed from the neck up like it was fully winter time.  From the neck down…not so much.  Home boy was rockin’ the short sleeved shirt.  Not too “out there,” because I’ve seen people rockin’ the short or sleeveless look in cold weather quite often.  It’s when I noticed that ole boy was rockin cargo shorts that I began to think something was up.

"Joe's" beard would make Uncle Si proud.

“Joe’s” beard would make Uncle Si proud.

When he sat down, things became a tad bit clearer to me as to why Joe was dressed down so much.  He wreaked of a liquor cabinet.  So, no matter how cold it was outside…good ole Joe could probably melt ice with the mere touch of his index finger.

I turned around to give my newfound riding buddy a gander while he did his best acapella version of Rihanna’s “We Found Love.”  To my surprise…initially, he wasn’t there.  Wait…am I trippin’, or is this guy….?  Sweet Jesus.  Joe has only half a beard.

Yup.  That’s right.  Joe was fully intoxicated, fully clothed in shorts and a short sleeved shirt (in 50 degree weather)….all while having half of his face shaved.  Made for a great laugh and some interesting memories.

So, I guess Joe just proved to me that you can, indeed, have youR cake and eat it too.

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Light Rail Diaries: A Reflection

Nothing really to report on the train ride yesterday.  In fact, I only took the train home from work.  In the morning, I had the pleasure of riding shotgun as the Mrs drove me to work.  It was a fun ride as usual, because the two of us are silly and crack little jokes on each other.

She laughs at how I snore when I sleep.  Which is why I always “encourage” her to go to sleep first.  Hey, if you don’t want to listen to the symphony of nostril noises try drifting off to sleep before me…just a suggestion.

What do I pick at her about?  Well….uhhhh.  You know….stuff.  Hey, my wife is perfect.  She has no flaws (as I peek over my shoulders…left then right).  Did I say it right honey?  I did?  Great.

Anywho…yesterday’s trip reminded me of the first time she and I rode together.

9.16.13

Morning Edition

The soothing music keeps me comforted as I roll over to catch a few more Z’s.  Tucked away in the fetal position, wrapped in the covers.  Just like a newborn babe being cradled by his mom.

Yup, the best position to be in when you are deep in sleep.  Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talkin’ bout.  I’m more than sure that you’ve been there a time or 3 yourself.  You probably find yourself that way every Monday morning just like me.

“Uuugh….5 more minutes Ma.”  I remember muttering that every time Re Re would whisper my name in the wee hours of the morning.  “Just 5 more minutes, and I promise I’ll get up.”  That’s how I felt this morning when I heard the music whispering in my ear just like Ma used to do so many years ago.

There it is again.  What seems like hours have passed, and there is that soothing sound keeping me in such a comforting state of being.  It’s a state that can only be described as the most peaceful place to be while in a slumber.

For a third time, I hear the music playing.  This time, it seems to be louder than before.  Although loud, it’s still a comforting sound.  With this sound comes a subtle rock.  It’s a motion that causes my slumber of solace to be interrupted.

What could it have been?  Oh, of course…it’s the lovely lady laying next to me.  That music I heard was her phone’s alarm going off after being snoozed about a hundred times.  Wait, why is she still here?

…the night before…

Me:  Bri, what time are you getting up in the morning?

Bri:  It will be early.  I’ve got to get an early start on a project in the morning.  So, you can leave my car parked behind your truck.

Me:  Cool.  Ok, so I can sleep a little later, and then drive to the train station.

…morning…

I knew I should’ve switched the cars last night.  Now, Ima be late or I have to fight that nasty Monday morning traffic with Big-Baby.  Lose-lose situation any way you look at it.

A minute later any anguish, animosity, or anger I had inside melted away when she peeked around the corner.

Bri:  Sorry Boo.  I know you wanted to ride the train this morning.

Me:  (I smile and shake my head) No worries sweets.  Tell you what.  You can take me to work.  That way we can ride in the carpool lane and enjoy each other’s company for a few minutes as we take the freeway.  Then you can get breakfast, on me of course, and you may even make it to work a few minutes early.

I guess having the Mrs oversleep a little isn’t a bad thing at all.  It means more quality time for us both.

 

 

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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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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.

20130826-191344.jpg

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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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