on January 5, 2010 by alchemystic in American Upbeat, Comments Off
Once On A Blue Moon!!!
Good Morning Sun, words that forever, for me, will have new meaning, memories of a bright spot along my way. Another bad trip on the train down from Chicago, sat next to a drunk, the man was fuming, God I hate that train, sure wish I knew a way to avoid it, to get back to Philly without it! Tony and I said goodbye in Union Station, Chicago, it seemed we weren’t on the same train out, his leaving an hour before mine, him getting into Philly, about six hours after me. I guess there is a way to avoid that train to Pittsburgh!! Years ago, an old friend told me, go for the quarters, just forget all about the dollars, that those quarters stack up quick. Overnight, the second night, aboard the Southwest Chief, Irving got pulled in, pulled in by an old and crippled man, for a friendly little game of poker. Buy in was a quarter, Irving lost about $260. For a while, a third guy sat in, not for too long though, he spotted that old mans action quick and bailed. I watched that old man, sure am glad I never learned to like card games!!? The train had sat, for a little more than an hour on the platform in Albuquerque, we had rolled in early, some time built into the schedule for service and fueling. I had lived in this town, mid eighties, there once was a Round House here, I remember the controversy, there were some people here, wanting to preserve a bit of this great history, after all, it was of this very history, that opened up our Wild West. Tony and I started talking here, about halfway through our wait I walked up, bluntly asked, said I had overheard he was a US Marshal, mixed the conversation up a bit, with a little taste of my time spent in this station, times spent living in this City. My first question was of Polanski, a big buzz in my town, I’m a little curious of his view, the view from his section of the bleachers? Turns out, this guy ain’t sitting in the bleachers, he’s one of the players, seems talking with him, there WAS a program, there were people who KNEW all the players. Tony told me, he had been chasing that man, for four years, that many times, he got close, that there were leaks, that finley they got him, because they kept everything in house, no other agency knew, when they moved on Polanski, that a lot of people all over Europe and the U.S. were pissed. Tony really seemed to love his job, he started as a Marine, moved into the Army Rangers, I think I told him, I was glad I was meeting him here, and not somewhere, out on the streets. He told me of the long road he traveled, becoming a Marshal, said he worked for Federal Prisons, for Customs, the Border Patrol. I think I got a good sense, of what all this man was about, this is a good man, he gets bad guys! I told him, how I would come down to this station, Christmas Day, watching this train pull in, how I enjoyed watching families joining, the joy of the season playing out across the platform!!! At some point, through the middle of the night, Irving taps my shoulder, tells me he’s got that old man, that its gonna take just a little while, he’ll gets his money back. That old man was crafty, he was only letting Irving hold a little of his own money, for a while, you know, setting him up! I had been down earlier, watching the game, watching that old man, buy Irving beers, watching that old man stack the deck! I had heard that phrase before, I saw it here, watching that old man shuffle. His style, seemed to be, of a broke down old man, how Irving missed seeing what was going on, is beyond me! This old man, would turn the deck upside down, you know, the bad upside down, he would look at the deck, place the cards in the deck, turn the deck over, shuffle the deck several times, but not really, he would never mix the cards, it sounded like he was shuffling the deck, he was only making noise, the deck would go back together, the same way, he would take it apart!!!! I wasn’t the only one glad to get off of that Chicago/Pittsburgh train, Kristen, a girl from Bethlehem, a student, if. I remember correctly, studying Graphic Arts, up in Wyoming. Right away we started talking, there was common ground, we both had rode that train south, we were waiting on the Keystone! I was curious of her art, she told me about her site www.burnlikestars.org At the time, I had no idea I’d discover a deeper meaning in this name, pulling her up on my blackberry, I was floored, I had no idea, of how a young woman, only 19, could make art like this, she blew my mind! I’ve directed others to her site, their reaction, same as mine! I was counting on riding with Kristen across the state, I gave it, my best effort, because of our different destinations, we were seated in different cars, I pleaded, I was told, we could meet back up, in the snack bar car!!!!! When asked by the attendant, I said I was going to Philly, I took a seat, a window seat, I boarded early, I watched the train fill up. After I had settled into my seat, I went back out on the platform, and smoked one more. My stop, actually was Paoli, about 30 miles west of Philadelphia, standing out on the platform, I saw that passengers to Paoli, were riding in a different car. I said something to the Trainmen about, me being screwed up a little, that I knew my mistake, that I would prefer, just keeping the seat I had, that the train was almost full, that I felt my seat was a good one, and he said COOL, that he didn’t see a problem. After coming off that train, out of Chicago, into Pittsburgh, his answer sorta shocked me, it was a welcome shock! That proves it, it is easy for everyone to get along! Now here is one part of the story, where it really starts getting good, I’m sitting in my seat, the car, is about all full up, people seem to be avoiding me, I’m looking a little rough! You know, sometimes, somethings, seem to just work out right! As I sit, I’m asked by a beautiful young woman if the seat next to mine, is her proper seat, in between me looking up to God, thanking him, I tell her that it is. She is Chinese, a student, working on her Masters, very soft spoken, her english, I hear as perfect. I ask her what her sign is, I guess I’m sounding, like the throwback to the 60s, that I am! Anyhow, I’m talking of the Chinese Zodiac, I tell her I am the Water Dragon, she says she knows nothing about that water stuff, she says she is a Rabbit. It turns out, she is a Fire Rabbit, my Father is also a Fire Rabbit, my Mother is an Earth Dragon, I haven’t yet figured out what this all means, I know what it did, a dialog between us opened, the eight hours riding across Pennsylvania, seemed like it was only an hour or two, her name is Sun!