Train Crossing – 19 September 2014

Posted: September 19, 2014 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,




19 September 2014

“Good morning, Chuck”

“Good morning, Dennis. I missed you yesterday. Were you sick?”

“No, I was reading my book on the bus and missed my stop. I ended up at the mall and had to walk back.”

“I’ve done that too. Getting old is the shits. Even Goldie didn’t want to come out today. I didn’t either. If I had a choice I can think of a lot of things I’d rather be doing than sitting here. Tomorrow I go to the wedding. I’ve arranged for the wheelchair taxi to pick me up at 9:00. I probably wont be getting home until ten at night.

“Speaking of weddings, I’ve got a joke for you. There was a couple getting ready to celebrated their twentieth anniversary. The wife is downstairs all prettied up. The husband is coming down the stairs dressed in his Sunday best, bawling his eyes out. His wife asked him why he was crying. He said, twenty years ago your father said to me, ‘You’ve got two choices, either marry my daughter,or spend the next twenty years in jail.’ His wife asked, ‘So, what’s the problem.’ He sobbed, ‘Today is the day I would have been released.’

“That reminds me of my own marriage. I put up with it for as long as I could, then decided that I’d had enough. It was my wife that arranged for the divorce papers. I couldn’t have cared less.

“Yesterday was a slow day. I didn’t even make thirty bucks. It was the anniversary of that bus, train crash that killed the driver and five passengers. I feel bad for the families of those people and the other riders on the bus, but did you hear what the bus drivers did yesterday? At 8:47 all the busses stopped for a moment of silence. Traffic was backed up for miles. Why do they inconvenience an entire city trying to get to work, because of a crash that happened a year ago?

“They still haven’t figured out what caused the crash, but I can tell you the cause. The bus driver failed to observe the three rules of crossing train tracks:  Stop, look and listen. I remember when I was a kid of fifteen, my father was drunk, or had a hangover and asked me to drive the car. I didn’t have a driver’s licence. When I looked in the mirror, I could see the fear in my mother’s face, but she didn’t say anything. Anyway, I drove the car, very carefully. When we got to the train tracks, my father said, ‘Just go right through.’ ‘No, I said. I stopped the car, looked both ways to see if a train was coming. Listened for the sound of a train whistle, then I crossed the tracks. My father back handed me for that, but I didn’t care. I wasn’t going to lose my life on his say so. I threatened to kill him once. I wish I had.

“I know that my mother loved me, but she never said so. I knew by the things she did for me. My dad hated us kids and he showed it every chance he could. That’s a hell of a way to grow up. I always tell my kids that I love them. Sometimes they ask me why I say it so often, but better that than not at all.”


  1. Hadel says:

    Reblogged this on Hadel.


  2. Further to, “I always tell my kids that I love them,”, I’m blessed to say that we’re exactly the same in our family especially with our little ones and they are the same with us. There are a *lot* of ‘I love you’s’ in my house 🙂


    • There can never be too many “I love you’s”. I often tell my street friends that I love them. It sometimes brings tears to their eyes. Hippo once said to me, “Thanks, man. I didn’t know there was still somebody who loved us.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Auntie Doris says:

    Fathers can be such rotten so and sos. I reckon it’s something about being a man. It must be ruddy hard work to be a good man. So I have a lot of time for those who make the effort.


    • Yes, we can’t choose our parents, and when we become parents we often don’t know what we are supposed to do.

      On to another topic, I enjoyed your quote, “I don’t care about money at all. I look upon my power as a gift and want to help as many people as I can with it.” This is a wonderful example for people to emulate.


  4. And one son stopped the fear that is passed on (unintentionally because they do not know what love is because of how they were brought up), from father to son. That takes great strength. Great post Dennis. Namaste


  5. I was very moved by this conversation. As I considered that old driver’s ed phrase “stop, look & listen”, I realized how simple really and a primer for how to live and love more thoughtfully, more fully. Thank you so much for this.


  6. dbp49 says:

    Another good post Dennis, will read you again later.


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