March 19, 2013 – Homeward Bound – #trainspotting#Chicago


Good evening. I am on a train. I have no idea when this train was supposed to have left, but I can with certainty call this the 6:30PM out of the City. The mood is discomfited.

My father is on the train. He and I got separated in the scrum of at least five thousand people attempting to board the train. Assuming ten cars on this train, that’s at least five hundred people attempting to board a car that seats one-hundred and twenty people. I tapped him on the shoulder as I forged ahead to the jumpseat. He doesn’t care for the jumpseat.

I am thrilled to report that one of the unfortunately delayed is none other than Conrgesswoman, and Tea Party darling, Michelle Bacchmann (R(TP)-MN), ya hey dere. The Congresswoman is railing (heh) against the state of Public Transportation and insists that it all should be privatized and run by private corporations, just like air travel. The polite fellow next to Congress woman snickered into his beer as he thought “Oh, ’cause those corporations sure know how to deal with flight delays!”

Congresswoman Bachmann asked the train engineer about the delay. Mechanical trouble. She got so livid she about pulled out her fully licenced and registered SigSauer and serve up some good old fashioned Grade A American indignation. Now she’s musing about suicides and accidental deaths by train. I put on my headphones to filter out the high pitches.

Dad is sleeping seven seats back. He disembarks at the station before mine. I’ve been asked why I use certain phrases. I want to be clear. He disembarks the train. He doesn’t get off anything in public. Ever. See what I mean?

Tom Wopat is here. The accomplished actor best known for his role as Luke Duke of the Dukes of Hazzard, is in a salmon colored shirt and sporting a grey beard. He looks mildly interested in the surroundings. He can afford to do whatever he wants, assuming he is still receiving royalty checks, because the DofH is the most popular show on the Nashville Network. He chews gum. Oh well.

I mentioned in yesterday’s post about an important idea – the collective experience.  Now, this is not a new phenomenon. Rock concerts, elections, large celebrations are all examples of collective experiences. Religion depends on the belief of the collective experience.

I took the delay of the trains yesterday and today as a chance to observe the collective experience. A lot of people were visibly annoyed or shaken, in part do to the discombobulation that irregularity brings. Many were on their phones with loved ones attempting to make alternative plans. Others still were looking forward to more time away from family. Many, like myself, were riding the delay with jokes, quips, even music.

I don’t want to subscribe any significance to these observations except to say that we all have a regular collective experience when the trains are on schedule, yet no interaction. Hmph. There’s something important in that observation. I just don’t know what it is.

Happy Tuesday. Safe travels.

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