2.01.2006

melancholia and the silver meteor



yep. i'm back in massachusetts. you know how i can tell? well, for starters it's four o'clock in the morning and i'm sittin' here messin with stuff on my computer. i can also tell--and this has a little bit to do with why i'm still up--because i have eaten an entire LARGE bag of hershey's kisses. eating that much chocolate makes me unhappy, and i've got to quit, but i don't seem to be able to. i guess that's the next thing on the list to either limit or do away with in my life.

another reason i can tell i'm back is because it has been raining non-stop for two days. i go outside, i get wet. and cold.

anyway, i took the train back. i said i'd write about it, so i might as well do it now. (i also said i was gonna write about clothes, and i plan to do that too.) so i took the train. that's me above in my "roomette." i had it all to myself. i also look drunk, but i wasn't. i'm holding my complimentary cup of coffee.

my roomette had two bunks (one which slid up and down on a track). the bottom bunk was created out of the two seats that had a little fold-up table between them. there was a checkerboard permanantly etched into the table top...made me think about steve goodman's "ridin' on the city of new orleans," but i don't know why. those guys are playing cards in that song: penny a point, ain't no one keepin' score.

all in all, i give the whole trip a thumbs up, and am sorry that i hadn't discovered i could travel that way before now. it took me...well, i left at...well, i was supposed to leave at 8:30 p.m. on a saturday. i was supposed to arrive in providence at 4:30 p.m. the next day. in reality, i left at about 10 p.m. or thereabouts and arrived in providence at 6 p.m. no biggie, really, although i had to wait in penn station for like 5 hours. there aren't any seats there. i would've gone out and done something in manhattan, but i was a little concerned about getting me and my bags and instruments onto the train, so i just stuck around and read the sunday times.

the best part about this trip was the ease with which it all happened. i got on the train, the porter showed me to my room, i got all set up, and that was about it. no barefootin' it through a metal detector with hectic travelers all around me. no laptops out of the bag, no belts taken off, no wand-waving.

after i got my cabin all set up i went out and fixed that cup of coffee. after that i walked around the train. i went to the lounge car and said hey to a couple people about my age. they were at a table doing some fancy graphic design work on snazzy computers.

i read some train travel advice before i left and learned a little trick that was nice: that bunk that slides down sits right at window level. i put the mattress from the lower bunk on top of the other one on the top bunk, lowered the bed, and sat and watched the world go by. clickity-clack. the ride wasn't all that rough, but there were a few jolts that woke me up during the night.

i woke up at daybreak to the sight of the washington monument going by with those two scary red eyes it has now. i went to the dining car and had pancakes and bacon and some pretty decent coffee for breakfast, served to me by a capable waitstaff at an attractive table. meals are included in the price of the ticket.

the only real pain, as i said above, was having to wait at penn station and the 3 hour ride back on the commuter train into providence.

alright. so there you have it. i think this has been my most perfunctory blog entry to date, but so be it. i'd do better, but it's now 4:19 a.m., it's still raining, and--most of all--i'd much rather be in bed with alison tonight. instead i'm here in the cold and rainy north, in the wee hours of the morning, tying together the hundreds of loose ends that still remain on my thesis work.

y'all have fun.


oh...well, here's ya some entertainment for you anyway: how's this for embarrassing? today in the providence alternative newspaper was a little blurb about famous heads of state that also happened to famous boozers. winston churchill was one, or course. another one was..well, i've forgotten his name. benson? anyway, he was like an american ambassador back in the day. (i'll look up his name tommorrow). anyway, he was in peru at some official function, knockin' a few back, and asked a woman dressed in long flowing purple robes to dance. her response?

"well, first off, you're drunk. next, this is not a waltz, it is the peruvian national anthem. finally, i am not a woman--i'm the archbishop."

2 comments:

Cate Bush said...

Walter,
Really cool picture of you on the train :). I just wanted to let you know I'm thinking about you as you begin your final semester at school. Best of luck and hopefully a bit o' sunshine real real soon.

love,
Catherine

Maig said...

Thanks for the update. That's cool you rode the train. I rode a train to Chicago once but I wasn't so lucky as to have a roomette and complementary coffee. I also cried the whole back...but that's another story and I have my own blog. Good luck with your work!!! I hope I can make it in April!
Alison...how's the bike situation?
heart,
Megan