A Year of Trains part 3 (1 Viewer)

Rob Nothing

I'm a d-bag and got banned.
Aug 26, 2012
171 Market St, Newark, NJ 07102, USA
[ONE MORE FISH IN THE BUCKET: June to August 2015] Part 1

Sitting in an airport here and using this time to do something I am always putting off. I want to go back again now, over some of the things I've amassed living as a nobody and doing nothing and going nowhere. Things I've seen, and didn't. . . I think it's been long enough now. Antrocles, a nexian brother, once dropped a bomb on us over there in one of the stories he related, about the journey on ayahuasca he made with some of our brown brethren down there in the jungles. It was a nugget of indispensable wisdom.. he said that to live fully in time and wholly oneself one has to 'give it a year'. He realized that his experiences were all very precious to himself most of all and to allow time for the experiences to speak first before he went spilling the beans all over the place was key to his maturation into a better, healthier human being. I liked that, because I have always felt the need to do more or less the same thing and his words more or less solidified that for me. So I always try to give it a year, the details I mean.

As of today, the 8th of March, one years time will put me back in East Washington working at freight savers, which is roughly where I left off with the longish, redundant, unedited "1 year of trains" I started about nine months ago. So I'll begin with the details I left out in there of summer 2015, and cap this out at freight savers, 6 months later.


Santa Rosa


It's June. I'm doing landscaping for these kids I met through STP... It was really weird and convenient how it worked out, how I came out to the coast and landed right in their area when they were looking for help. I remember seeing Dahlias face in the little avatar next to a thread she'd posted about puppies they were giving away. Her face bore a striking resemblance for a moment to the face of somebody I'd been looking for for months and years... and who also had been known as Dahlia on occasion. So I clicked and saw that it was a different Dahlia, but also saw that she and her guy were probably people I wanted to meet up with anyway, given there location.

It's very strange to me at times how I manage to go all these places, how I manage to get around when all I am really doing is chasing my own tail. It's either I am trying to find something or trying to forget another, and all in all finding everything but and thinking of nothing else.
Someone has put me in this cryogenic sleep and I am this mindless dreaming thing, helpless as a prison brick and water logged with memories oozing and streaking forever struck through the eternal vacuum. In hyperspace.
That's what it's been like, though. The streets, the trains, the faces all weather beaten or full of obscene wishes, and money and the absence of money.. streaking by. Believing in nothing but in the thing I am looking for or the thing I am trying to lose. Sometimes it's luck and I count my pennies and the scars in my hands and try to guess the stars and the cards and the women. Other times I believe in money, And others still my god is the wind. There are even days I pray to my own calloused and blistered feet.
But it isn't that simple.. and I don't think belief was ever a good currency to keep but in ephemeral doses... Its a lot of added weight, belief. Like a can of beans. . . We can't take our idols and figurines and mirrors with us. And neither will you bring your beliefs into the grave ... not even your eyes.

So it seems I am constantly trying to get rid of something, if not just plain losing things outright, rather than acquiring them. I am addicted to nothing... My name is Rob and I admit I have a problem, and I want to get better! No, someone please help!! Someone please come pull me out of this cryogenic sleep, out of this womb-tomb and smack the daylights back into me!!!

Or that is what I used to think. It has gotten better.. the going gets good even if it takes a nightmare before it ever gets anywhere. But it's still bizarre. How one thing has led to another and another and so on... all the while chasing my tail, dreaming.

Before leaving M and D in Santa Rosa I have a pretty decent time, 6 weeks or so altogether. Very gracious couple of 20 somethings, at least until I wore out my welcome. And what else can I expect out of myself as a young person? All I really want is to see that my basic needs are met and yet all I do is push people's buttons and explore boundaries. Being in your 20s is like a child with fire.. or a blow torch, rather... nothing stands in the way. Not even the smell of your own burning flesh.
But I got to liking these two so much I told myself at one point that I would make a series of comics w them in it and other train kids I'd met. Of course that may never happen but it's an enticing thought anyhow.
The first night I met them they took me down to a place called the burnt ramen, in Richmond. A barrage of thrash / metal bands played, they introduced me to their friends, and on the drive back up the 101 I puked all over the front seat... pretty epic night all around.

While in Santa Rosa I take a little vacation in the middle there somewhere and head up to Seattle to see old friends, and the night I leave is almost as epic as the night I arrived. They are going back to the burnt ramen to see someone and decide to take me along, on a double-mission, to drop me off at the hop north of Berkeley. So that I can catch the 9pm p/u.
I am absolutely loaded with cash from all the work I'd been doing for them, and the first thing I do is buy myself a couple of 22ozs and get nice and toasted on vodka after the first cap back in the little bar they've got there -- next to the mini indoor skate park -- and hang around for a couple of shows.
Guys, guys.. this is what happiness feels like, guys. Fellas. It's grindcore live at the burnt ramen, drunk but only just so, with a stack of 20s in the pocket and a 5 minute ride to the next train.
So when they put me on that train it was the goodbye that I prefer to remember over the other we have a month later. And it's the ride along the bay at night that I wish that I would have made only just the once.

Really, a part of me wishes desperately that it were humanly possible to leave things as I found them the first time. The first thought is the best. There is something about the first time, the first anything.. that can never be replicated. So that in some sense at least we are all of us forever saying goodbye. One could say. Goodbye to yesterday, goodbye to now, goodbye brother goodbye, friend or lover. It's a sentiment I don't know if I will ever be able to shake. But goodbyes are not always necessarily without joy, or without fondness or celebration. It can be a good thing as much as a bad one.



When I get to Roseville I think, iirc, the weather is fair. And warm. And, iirc, it is the ILBSE special that I catch this time... which takes me clear up to Argo yard. A pretty ride up the corridor, but pretty eventless also for me since it is a route that I have ridden a number of times by then. . I remember a kid climbing on in K falls, while I'm taking a piss and yawning off the early morning chills, into the container ahead of mine. He got off in Eugene, giving me the nod.

I don't remember what all I had planned for Seattle other than to dick around and visit a few people I hadn't seen in years, and to drink and blow my wax and study the trains here... I don't think there was anything beyond that, and mainly I had more people I wanted to say goodbye to and it was the right time to get it done.
So I arranged to meet up with two in a cafe and the next in a bar, and the next one I have to call repeatedly in order to get any kind of response at all. That one I fucked up real bad and I understood if he didn't have the heart to see me.
It's good to talk to Ariel at first, it's been so long... but still there is nothing there, no spark or not enough of one. And when we sign off for the night it is an implicit, formal resignation between two ex-wouldbe, might've been lovers, and a fittingly informal so-long.
Sean.. same old teddy bear this guy, brings me over to stay a few days and play video games and watch television like old times. Dopey is doubled in size, but same faultless softy. We play hoops and talk about high school and about quitting drinking. I am welcome to come camping with them all later in the summer...
Colin and I, like gentlemen, extend our terms for another week and meet up again at a punk show in Chinatown. Where I get shitfaced and thrown out halfway through the show. He and his girl leave early and drive me back to my spot in Interbay. I tell them that I want to marry this girl who works at the Whole Foods down by the yard, but that she's never there when I walk in... and, as I'm stepping out the backseat and closing the door I ask them if it isn't kind of an achievement in the order of badassedness that I was just mobbed and thrown out of a punk show for no apparent reason. They agree placidly, and I thank Colin for the night and shut the door and that's the last I see them. In the little red thing and the rain, nonplussed.
Walking back I laugh out loud and congratulate myself for being such a giant prick. I never got anywhere with those people, but only because I never wanted to.


The next day is so beautiful and clean and warm and I am so hungover I go back to Whole Foods to get more beer so as to ease my spins and soften the light a little.. Seattle will rain for weeks on end but when the son of a bitch finally comes out, immaculate, from behind the murk it is worth all the trouble and the gloom.
Hillside of blackberries stirs in the breeze... and stirs the imagination also.. The living world around, momentarily drawn to life, is illumine and finally palpable to the mind. This mute sea of green fire oddly radiant that lights the white summer noon. A dark figure drifts through, hooded and accentuating the quiet without detracting from it, somehow as dispossessed of all this harsh light as the berries and fauna a beacon to it. I recall at random the smith in Sonoma, Aurelio, and what he'd said to us about friendship and how the things gone between us are immutable, ineradicable. And that through each and every word newly spoke, eye in eye, the world is changed. Made less, made more; but forever different.
...Finally an intermodal pulls in and stops and the spell is broken. I grab my things and pick a taxi back into Argo.

. . .

While I was waiting in line at the Whole Foods, it's the one I was hoping would be working today and I am finally close enough to notice more than just her gorgeous backside but the mustache also. (HOW that was even possible I hadnt the slightest idea). I am so put off by this that I am visibly shaken and my efforts halfhearted. (I'll be damned if I'm going to be deterred by a harry lip , thinks I to myself) And like a total creep I ask her when she gets off work. But I could hear in her voice that she wasn't having it and I said good day, happily denied.

It's a little hysterical, in hindsight, these moments of inexplicable carnal terror we go through... moments of false pretense and inevitable punch line. Barroom stories were invented by nature, when she decided to play cruel practical jokes.
Working on a pot farm that august, out in moxee, I'd been helping put in these big trellises. We were digging 3 feet down and tamping it back in solid. Each pole taking roughly 30 mins total to set and half of that just throwing the end in to pack it, like beating off your tremendous dick without any of the fun normally involved. Anyway, when you're digging all goddamned day with your sweat and your brains boiling out of you in the pure daylight, your mind wanders a good deal just to while the time while it boils over and a guy starts thinking about other kinds of holes and what they're used for and the different styles they come in and what kinds of things can fit in them or what can be planted in those holes or whether there was in fact ever any difference, in respect to what went into what...

"Jake", says I.
"Yessir.", replies my foreman.
"Kinda like bottoming out on some poor girl here, n'it?"
"Awefully big cunt, you got there Rob"
"Oh, god. Listen, though.. have you ever had a surprise so bad it turned yer ramrod into a fuckin prune? I mean, what's the biggest you ever seen, honest."
"...well, if I could count the surprises on my fingers, those d just be the ones I seen in frisco"
"You never cease to fuckin blow my mind, you know that?"
"I aim to please"
"Fuck. Anyway there was this time I hadn't noticed a mustache till I got up close enough to give it to her... then there was this other time, in Austin -- that's where yer from aye you gaddam queer? -- this little college thing was wearing shorts so tight I think it was to be extra sure no one would be able to rape her.. but when we both got off the bus and I turned around to go ask her name I saw that she was a gimp. One of the kinds that walk with their arm out like this..."
"Id have raped that, what the hells the matter with you?"
"I was taken off guard!"
"I think you queer, boy!"
"Then there was this guy that told me he seen the biggest pussy in his life, only it was the first one he'd ever seen.. claims it was like a meat curtain. Like fondling a couple slices of liver wurst.. how do you like that?"
"Yeah? Have I told you yet why Sailor fuckin Jerry over there calls his plant the Wizards Sleeve?..."

Jake (or Jon or Blake or James I really can't remember this guys name) was one of those guys you don't even need words or proof whatsoever to know that he's full of shit when he's full of it and telling you the gods honest truth when it doesn't matter one way or the other. The jaded Texan, come over here for work on craigslist, limping everywhere he went cause he wouldn't part with his old ariats-- one of which stood at a 45 angle it was so worn and rounded in the sole of it. All hat and no cowboy, I'd heard somebody say. But just as easily he was the other way around, the poor son of a bitch-lover.. he's the one that made me glad I don't got kids yet.

We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!


Jun 21, 2016
Tacoma-ish, WA
Woke at 5am.. it's 7 now. Couldn't will myself back to sleep so here I am reading your posts.. Highly entertaining. . Thank you.

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