21 September 2007

AlSo: Coast Starlight

Jan was a doll and took me to the Metro station to get to Union Station in Los Angeles. They have a really cool light rail! It’s really beautiful. Of course, it coincided with the Aleatoric Sojourn, so something weird is bound to happen. In this case, a train collided with a car (ummm, guess whose fault that was?), so we had to get off the train then to a bus and than back on the train. While on the bus, we saw the collision, surrounded by multiple fire trucks and two hovering news helicopters. Not pretty. I met with a lovely young lady who was reading “Ender’s Game”. She is a special ed teacher at a public school and was going to a training. She has been carfree for about a year after she got into an accident and couldn’t easily afford a replacement. She and her husband wanted to see if they could go without, and sure enough they found it possible! So he bike commutes, and she walks and takes the bus/train. She was so darn cool! We talked pretty much the whole time until we hit Union Station. I peeled off to get tickets and then to sit in the courtyard with coffee next to a bird of paradise under incomparable weather. The seats for the train were comfy and spacious. I sat next to Felix, who is a Quaker and a Graphic Design student on the way home from seeing his girlfriend. A delightful conversation. There was also a bachelor party; a fellow by the name of Mike was getting married in St. Luis Obispo and was being accompanied on the train by his friends Doug and Andy. We had a great time, they were kind enough to share their scotch, and then they left all too quickly. Andy had a lot of ranching stories; Doug is a headhunter and can write off just about any trip or meeting on his taxes. Mike is, well, getting married and also works with the armed forces. Their acquaintances wre unlikely, having been acquainted through ex-girlfriends as far as I could tell. Andy actually kissed my hand when he left, which never fails to endear. The train is such a wonderful opportunity to meet new people; I had a number of conversations with people I’d never have otherwise met. The tracks practically lick the ocean (or is it the other way around?), and one can see mountains and surfers and expansive forests. Late in the evening, we passed a freight truck in the dead of night. The slow speed and ominous, almost ethereal sounds seemed reminiscent of a deep sea adventure and passing a leviathan quietly, hoping not to awake it. I was having sleeping issues; I think my body is finally rebelling against yet another night spent in a seat. Grrr! Trying not to succumb to sleep lest jet lag rear its ugly head.

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