Monday, November 19, 2012

Train, Train – Take Me On Out of This Town

I love train travel. Not Trane (although they make a great heat pump) and not Train (although they were a mediocre one-hit wonder for a few years), but riding the rails. I took Amtrak from Cleveland to Chicago and back this weekend on the Lakeshore Limited. The seats recline low and I had enough room to extend my legs underneath the seat without playing gay footsies with the guy in front of me. At 7:30 a.m. the dining car opened, serving a surprisingly good omelet and coffee. I slept. I read. I listened to the entire Mad Season record followed by Alice in Chain’s Dirt. I wrote this post. But even better, I got a majestic eyeful of our nation’s beautifully sexy midriff.

My biggest critic (i.e. my wife) thinks I hate America because I am critical of the direction our country is headed. I complain about class inequity, the walking dead that won’t think for themselves, the deterioration of personal responsibility, and those idiots that think it is fine to turn left after the light has turned red. She asks me why I don’t simply leave the country if I’m so dissatisfied. If it weren’t for house arrest and no-fly lists, I would. But seriously, folks, sometimes it takes a rickety passenger car straight out of 1987 barreling down the tracks at a blazing 40 M.P.H. to give you a chance to remember how fortunate we really are.

The sun came up behind us, casting a blue haze upon frozen fields left fallow for the season. When the frost melted away and the sleepy towns awoke on a Friday morning, cattle grazed and horses gazed. No sexy bullet train tunnels or canyons made of glass and steel. Just mile after mile of simple, honest, farmland and the salt of the earth tending it.

I didn’t intend to make this a corny “Thanksgiving” post. Family, friends, a job, Ozzy, big boobies, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, I’m thankful for all of that. But I’m also grateful to have been dropped down to this mortal coil on American soil. That’s about as close to flag-waving as I’m gonna get.

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