Finding Adventure on the AMTRAK (1 Viewer)


Toasty Tramp

I closed my account
I'm thankful that I didn't try to board without a pass. There's guys with badges and official looking attire checking tickets at every single car, and I'm pretty stoked to just have to hand mine over to be able to go find a comfy seat, which makes me even happier about the decision because fuck having to sit on a toilet seat for the entire trip.

The lights are dimmed, the air is nice and cool. There's a crisp and clean smell to the air that I just can't enough of :D The car is damn near empty, and there's a window seat towards the rear that's hollerin' my name. Load the guitar and pack onto the seats across the aisle and knock out til daybreak. Wake up sore, but I've become used to it by this point. What's peculiar, however, is just how refreshed I feel despite the soreness! The feet are still super shitty, I know that the way I'm walking along with the stuff I'm carrying is attracting attention, but the road has taught me to spare all fucks for the things worth giving em' to. At this point -- I'm numb to the opinions and perspectives of others.

And so I sit back and find myself lost in thought. In the beginning of this mess, I claimed to have handed the reigns of destiny to chaos. But I think that in doing so, the notion of life having any reigns in the first fucking place simply...disappears. And I think that's the point -- Get rid of the reigns. This ride isn't meant to be driven. I've lived more happily since departing than I have the past four years combined, and its bittersweet; I can only imagine what's ahead, but there's a deep and vile anger within directed at the fact that it took so goddamned long. But...imagine if I'd have waited until I was older to do all of this and my condition took a turn for the worse and I had to figure out how to do this from a wheelchair. Imagine if I stayed in college and ended up subscribing to a life I never wanted anything to do with in the first place but was brainwashed into thinking that I did, and I waited until I had "retired" to start living. HAH -- Imagine if the military ended up "working out". Or if I'd have accidentally drank too much and 9 months later there's children in the picture to postpone the dream for 18 or so years before it even tastes the breath of life...

...I mean hell...abortion could always solve that...

...But Isn't abortion a bad thing? I wonder because these dreams and ambitions feel so goddamned real right now that killing them would be a lot like an abortion during the third trimester when its kickin' and tumblin' about and causing mayhem to the mother. How can these dreams...who's loving touch I can feel caress my soul...who's sweet taste I can perfectly imagine on the tip of my spirit's tongue...How can that not be real? I can't put my ear to em' and hear the thump of a heartbeat, but I can put two fingers to the side of my neck and feel that -- These dreams are so intertwined with my every fiber of being that I mean fuck, its pretty much the same thing at this point. Try as hard as you might, you will not separate me from them without taking the breath out of my chest as well.

I start panicking at what could've happened had I stayed in Columbus much longer cause all of a sudden I'm feeling...maternal...despite the tree trunk swinging between these knees. I don't feel like the father at all; fathers don't carry the burden and weight of a pregnancy. They don't feel the feet kick against their tummies or get the weird cravings for dirt and jello with mustard and pickle juice...they aren't the ones vomiting everything they ever ate into the toilet at 3:30am or the ones who's body -- who's capable meat bag -- becomes depleted of energy and every bone and muscle and tendon and joint aches because its literally giving everything for this fetus to have a chance at tasting the breath of life.

I'm definitely feeling motherly, this capable meat bag of mine a vessel impregnated with dreams by the world around it.

And like a good father -- the world around me was supposed to be the pillar upon which I leaned when the times were tough and the knees wanted to collapse from this fetus demanding too much from the meatbag. Except I'm the mother who got knocked up by a deadbeat who liked to beat and flail at my spirit and tell me alllllll about the impending miscarriage, and I grew to accept it as normal. Caring for this child included a run in or two with a straight jacket, sleeping on the streets, starving and literally decomposing, dealing with an addiction to general non-sobriety...I mean hell yeah, I could've probably handled things a little better...But the baby's alive and well, that's all that matters. It grows and develops and I can't wait to give birth, I feel triumphant! Columbus was hell. Columbus was supposed to kill the us, so fuck yeah I'm feeling triumphant as these beautiful sights of the California countryside continue to fill my vision and spirit. I made it, goddamnit I made it. Took about four years, but here we are.

And it leaves me with a sense of true joy. Because fuck waiting for the father to change his ways and sweep me off of these bloody feet and make it a fairy tale ending. Fuck waiting for life to deal a decent hand. I'll stack my own deck. See about finding these dreams a life that'll support em'. A completely different world, completely different life, full of the folk who wanna rub the tummy and ask about what color you're going to paint the baby's room and whether or not you've chosen a name. The kinds of friends you can call when the trials and tribulations of motherhood become too damn much and the weight of it all threatens to break your shoulders. People who are interested in seeing the baby see the light of day. Columbus was full of the folk who'd tell me all of the ways about how to get a check for the baby and about how I can make a couple of grand come "tax season" off of it. Both literally and metaphorically speaking. Fuck that, I'mma see about finding a normal set of circumstances, ones that leave me capable and empowered to tend to these dreams and raise them, let them grow and eventually impose a little good upon the world. Because fuck keeping around a father who points and laughs at how fat you are and likes to tell ya about how the baby's gonna die before you can give birth to it.

So yeah...I guess I'm feelin' lot like an expectant mom :D In the sense that pregnancy is fuckin' HELL. We're even over here wobbling like we're all super knocked up and stuff. Except I'm not feelin' fat an sassy with a baby inside my feet are just bleeding from the path of this pregnancy, and it makes walking a lil' bit difficult. Glad I'll never have to literally deal with the shit -- giving birth to dreams is hell enough -- major props to the women who can birth motherfucking humans, holy shit how do ya do it?? Looking at it this way...there's no fucking chance in hell that I'd be able to ask a woman to abort a baby we accidentally create. Cause if something as beautiful as these dreams can accidentally be born from a mother who's trying to kill herself and a father that's trying to help...What other kind of beautiful fucking accidents are out there just waiting to happen?? I'm pretty sure that I'm one of em'. Mom accidentally told me about it when she got drunk one day.

The train rolls to a gentle stop -- We've arrived at the first waypoint that I'm awake for. We're in the middle of nowhere -- this train station is literally the only thing in sight except for an abandoned building off in the distance. I truly am among the Californian countryside, I'm simply awestruck. They say its gonna be an hour before we take back off, something's wrong with the train and they need to fix it. There's vending machines and one of those hot coffee vending machines. Load up on coffee, red bull, and butterfingers...I'm feelin' fat an sassy, GET OFF MEH. Toss most of it in the bag for when I get to where I'm headed to kill some time and enjoy a sight :D Turn towards the abandoned warehouse, and I'm stopped in my tracks by the indescribable beauty of the rising sun against the ridiculously tranquil countryside. This isn't some picture on a computer that I'm lusting after while serving my sentence in Hell, these are sights captured by my own two eyes that I was willing to sacrifice my life for in order to claim em' as my own. Fucking intoxicating. And just like in Wyoming, I feel at home and it clicks. The people who told me that I have to plant roots somewhere were right, despite the ferocity with which I reubked their claims. You do need roots. I'm planting mine in the wind. Tears of joy drip down these smiling cheeks. The kinda tears ya feel proud to shed, the kind you're incapable of wiping away because the source of em' holds ya in an iron grip.

I think back to the sights these two eyes were constantly subject to from the life that I used to live. The filfth and destruction and careless dumps where dirty needles filled the curbs and the unspoken curfew was somewhere around midnight and 1am until the time the sun rose. I think back to stealing semi truck brake drums from the various truck repair depots and turning them in as scrap metal to land a couple of bucks for painkillers that eventually found a way up my nose. I think back to the life I subjected myself to because of the slight sense of security that it provided, and I marvel at the power of depression and the way it made such a thing okay. Something triggers memories of homebums literally lying down on the sidewalk to take naps, and of me shooing away junkies who decided to nod off in our back yard. I remember feeling trapped in a place that didn't want me. Doing things I didn't want to in order to perpetuate a life I wanted nothing to do with.

I think back to the way I'd literally barracade myself inside of my room and dream about the day I'd be able to escape from it all. Barracade myself away and put in headphones so I didn't have to hear the endless drama and the dogs and the fights and the dogs and the drama and the dogs. I'd tell myself that with more work, I can lift these dreams of mine up and breathe a breath of life into them and let them carry me away. The way I'd scrape my pipe for an hour to get enough resin to escape the pain of living an empty life cause I had already scraped the bowl 4 days in a row before. I remember playing taxi to the entire "family" in order to have something to throw in their face when someone got a new script or came into some pills from robbing someone or cause they pulled guard duty at the trap and the dope boys hooked it up with something I wanted my hands on. Cause I learned early on while living with them that folk were willing to help ya out so when you came into some kinda fortune they could "remind" you about all the times they "helped ya out", and how suddenly their world is falling apart because of the lack of the things you just so happen to have. They're shitting their guts out, they're about to literally die from the pain, look at how they're sweating and shaking and vomiting, how can I just sit there and hold on to a full script of pills or an extra $20 when they only need a pill or a few bucks to make shit better. And they only need something tomorrow and the next day and the days until I'm empty, as well. But its cool cause so an so is coming in to this or that anytime now.

At one time, I had dignity.

I'd wake up 3 hours before I had to report for duty. An hour of yoga to stretch the body and the spirit. An hour of studying towards degrees in software engineering and the generic Air Force degree you get for knowing your job and taking a couple of core classes. The final hour went towards a proper breakfast I'd cook while jammin out to some kinda upbeat music, and slowly making the way towards base in muh baby -- a beautiful piece of shit 1987 Nissan 300ZX.

We had a day by day plan for all 50ish aircraft, and our plan went out for about 5 years. I helped make that happen -- juggling EVERYTHING -- all the maintenance, the missions they'd fly, all the upgrades, choosing the ones we'd tear apart and use for parts for other aircraft, handling the new ones we just bought and getting em' mission capable, getting rid of the old ones that weren't worth shit, figuring out how to support the humanitarian & scientific & classified missions, sending aircraft out for deployment and bringing em' back home, replacing the broken ones with the good ones, the training missions, the static displays, dealing with the explosives they had onboard, when they got washed and lubed and prettied up, when we'd tear em' apart and put em' back together just to make sure everything was good...If something (or nothing at all) was going on with any of our aircraft, my signature could typically be found somewhere around the "AUTHORIZATION GRANTED BY" section.

I recall sitting in on meetings with two stripes on my shoulder, the next lowest rank having 6 or 7 of em', and being the Airman who could tell the Colonel (politely) that his plan was fucked, and I'll sort it out an try to make magic happen. I recall using the lessons from childhood in talking to computers -- the only source of friendship for me -- and I remember using my knowledge of programming to get rid of a room full of file cabinets and introducing the career field to the beauty of automation. I remember using the stuff I learned in college while combing through the obsolete data systems, slowly piecing together a way to automate the entire career field. A ton of scripts I had planned to link together to reduce the workload of an entire career field to the push of a button. Or even make THAT an automated script, and ya sit back and enjoy your cup of coffee and make sure shit runs smooth.

I remember leading a squadron in Physical Training, the books I'd read to understand nutrition and weightlifting and group workouts and all that jazz. I remember having the balls to challenge the Major to a race -- The guy literally just transferred out of commanding an entire special forces unit. He fucking demolished me, but I don't remember anybody else stepping up. And I remember the package making its way through the chain of command to see about getting me to the Air Force Academy to get my commission as an officer in the United States Air Force. Making moves to do the same the the Major did -- Run a special forces squadron or two.

And then shit didn't just hit the fan -- Shit Mountain fell into a sea of turbine engines, and I go back to memories of life after I fucked it all up...lying to police knocking at the door to our house because of the info they recieved on one of the felons with a few warrants who we were housing. And I remember on one of those of the cops knocking was a "friend". And how they YELLED "WELL...IF YA HEAR FROM SO AN SO...TELL EM'..." cause they knew what was up, and that so and so was right around the corner. Probably using every ounce of effort they had to not storm the front doorway and "show those fucking cops what a REAL hood mothafucka is about"

I remember all 8 dogs and the 14 members of the "family" housed up in the 3 bedroom single story house. And the thin layer of furry fecal matter strewn about the floor. The way that barking dogs became a trigger of PTSD. And how I became numb to the anger of stepping in a puddle of dog piss or pile of shit because of how normal such a thing became. I remember the bed bugs and fleas, and I remember the way they'd sit at the kitchen table and comb each other's heads for shit while drinking coffee, enjoying pancakes with ranch dressing, and spreading/synthesizing the latest drama every morning. I remember the bed bugs becoming such the norm that I'd wake up fascinated with how many fresh bites I had. Because fuck getting rid of them, that's impossible. I recall making trips to the cousin down the street to pick up a dime sack for the kids of the household cause they were so goddamned unmanageable. Paying for it in cash while the fridge held only enough fixins' for a ketchup sammich and the dogs ran outta food 3 days ago, but these middle schoolers need weed to settle em' down, what's so wrong with that?

And then I think about how the human mind can handle one line of thinking at a time, and how the perspective that you maintain on life is entirely dependant on the the kinds of thoughts you allow to run across your mind. Instead of being consumed by those things I initially ran FROM -- I should try to focus on those things in front of me and use em' to help me realize these newfound passions and ambitions and all of the things I'm running TOWARDS. What kinda mom would I be if I keep telling the baby about how shitty of a person its father is when the baby is never gonna even meet the dad? Why don't I focus on tending to these dreams and making sure they'll never be influenced by its fucked and twisted father? Come to terms with the fact that the bullshit is on the other side of the country, I no longer have to be influenced by it.

I made it, remember? I fucking made it :D


I'm walking around the abandoned building and looking for an entrance when I come across an older lady, obviously a fellow traveler, and she's moving some old wooden pallets around. Without a word exchanged, we come together and slap together a quick makeshift couch that we place our packs upon and stretch out underneath the cloudless Californian sky. We get to talking, and it turns out that she's on the train until central Oregon, where she works as a security supervisor for traveling festivals. I let her know I'm just out and about trying to fill up on life, and we jump in to such a deep conversation about the traveler / nomadic lifestyle that we almost miss the train. On our way back, I take notice of the observatory deck, and it turns out that she's been there the whole trip. Hobble towards the cart, and she tells me about the place where ya can get food and wine and beer and stuff.

Beer and wine?
Fuck. Yes.

Its almost lunch anyways, so I grab a Red Bull, two Italian subs, a container of sliced fruit, some yogurt, two bananas, granola, and two bottles of wine :D Definitely went overboard, but I couldn't handle it any longer. I did the whole frugal thing, but I'm pretty sure I fucked up somewhere and decided to walk another tight rope with malnutrition and muscle decomposition. I feel wobbly, and I know its due to the lack of food. Whatever. Plus, one of the bottles is for Ms. Melody -- GETTHEFUCKOFFMEH, JUDGEY BAR MAN. We kick back on one of the areas that has a built in table and booth seats and we start talking. I'm that guy that leans his head against the window and stretches his feet out along the booth and takes up half the aisle because I'm a lightweight and already kinda sloshy an drinking straight from the bottle like its beer. She's the type to kick back and relax in the middle of the seat while maintaining some sense of self dignity, posture all proper and her fingers interlocked around the wine glass in front of her. I wonder what we look like, sitting together? How ODD it must look :D She offers a job doing security with the traveling festivals after I tell her about the military...And I hate myself for not taking her up on it the moment she offered, sweet zombie jesus that would've saved so much time and effort. Even offered a ride and a couch to crash on until the festivals took off. All I had to do was hop off the train early and get AMTRAK to refund the rest of the trip. Dunno wtf I was thinking. I wasn't, apparently.

The views are tremendous -- humbling, really -- and I can't help but just...sit. And be reminded of how I'm but a single man on an organic rocketship stuck in perpetual orbit around an average sized star in a generally non-descript galaxy among trillions that all make up a single universe among an infinite amount of em' and nothing really even matters right now. The thoughts of everything that led me to this point and the thoughts of where I'm headed from this point don't even plague my mind because the conversation is flowing so naturally and the views keep me grounded and focused on just how goddamned beautiful the present truly is -- I'm awestruck. A wave of joy swells in my gut and rises to my chest, I'm overtaken with pleasure at how things just are. Breathtaking views coupled with great conversations with a fellow kind soul and deliciously overpriced wine straight from the bottle like its a big ol' bottle of beer, a train cart made almost entirely of glass walls, and an absolute lack of stress upon my shoulders.

I'd be the greediest person in the world if I asked for anything more.

The train makes a couple of more stops, with enough time to walk around and stretch and comment on how this place differs from the others and we make small talk about the weather & landscape, smoke a couple of cigarettes, blow down a couple of joints, and hop back on the train. I bust out the guitar at some point, and the bar says FUCK YOU, JACK after the 3rd bottle of wine. The guy behind me in line offers a bottle to our cause. The staff knew what was up. They were HATIN. They tried taking the bottle away cause dude who bought it for us wasn't chilling with us and we were previously cut off, so the guy asks what the limit is and they tell him he can get two more. He gets THOSE and joins in on the party til its his time to go. :D

We've got hours to party, and we literally stumble through the carts and round up all the people who wanna have a few drinks and sing a couple of songs on the observatory deck to pass some time. I forget where she hops off, but I certainly DO recall giving her a passionate and long-winded hug and kiss on the cheek, followed by another hug and promises to get a hold of her. They had to refill the alcohol section in Portland, I think we were all about to get kicked off, but thankfully it didn't happen. It wasn't TOO crazy -- just loud. Everybody had a seat, even if their seat was another person's lap. Just a bunch of travelers having drinks and lively conversation with a little bit of guitar music in the background to top it all off. Sure, we all might have been stomping a beat and slapping the tables to make a hi-hat kinda sound and sure, a few of us had a slightly obvious stumble in our walks and a slur in our speech, get the fuck off us we're having a good time. Maybe getting everyone to bellow "Aaannnnnnnndddddddd we'll just CHUCK IT...IN THE FUCK IT...BUCKET...And parrrtttyyyy oonnnn" as the chorus was a bit much.


I get off the train somewhere in WA, and I'm still pretty sloshy. Whoops :D The only thing I know is that a sexy ass voice comes over the intercom and tells all of us about the bus we gotta catch from this stop to Seattle. Something else is fuckered up with the train. Decide to go to the restroom, grab a bite to eat, explore, and step outside for a cigarette. Except that I see the bus for Seattle about to pull out, and I freak the fuck out and start running for it I didn't think it'd take off so SOON. Don't even notice the curb, and I hyperextend my knee and go tumbling and rolling, my head comes underneath the bus and the bus is taking off its fucking in motion and my head is underneath it I'm about to die. A worker notices and freaks the fuck out as well, immediately brings the bus to a halt before my face becomes a drunk ass raspberry pancake in a city I can't even remember the name of, and he rushes over to me SCREAMING like I haven't heard since basic training.

While I appreciate the guy saving me, I really didn't appreciate him running up to me and screaming about how much of a dumbass I am as he's inches from my face and I feel his spit and smell the thousands upon thousands of crushed asshole that make up the scent of his breath as he unleasehed some kind of lifelong anger upon my unforuntate soul. The driver steps off and asks if everything is good, dude yells "HELL NO IT ISNT", and the driver simply returns to his seat and takes off. I regain my composure after spending a second deciding the best way to permanently disfigure this fucking guy, and I proceed to vocally tear him a new asshole. His bullshit caused me to miss the bus. From Columbus to Seattle, and I haven't had a real issue yet...until I met this guy. He tries to come back and repeats himself, talking about how I'm a dumbass for somehow ending up underneath a bus, and I ask him to lift my pack.

He grunts upon lifting it, and I ask him how he thinks it would feel to lug the fucking thing for 4000 miles across the country after years of sedentary living, how it'd feel after a night of hard fucking drinking and zero fucking sleep, and zero energy to fucking continue despite the cravings of my soul. How it'd feel to lug it around with socks squishy from the blood of your feet. And that because I had the misfortune of having my life saved by an asshole, who knows how many more beautiful fucking hours I have to enjoy in this hellhole. My knee is fucking killing me and the wound on my elbow is dripping blood are you the one who cleans up the blood of your customers who almost die and have to face the wrath of an asshole employee who saved em'? IF SO, IT LOOKS LIKE FUCK BOY FRESH NEEDS TO GET HIS GODDAMNED CLEANING SUPPLIES AND RESET THE SCENE FOR THE NEXT VICTIM GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY FACE.

I'm screaming at the guy drill sgt. style, using the same exact voice I've used to command a squadron during a military parade where I gotta get my voice louder than the music and the crowd and the guy on the megaphone and the other commanders and the intermittent cannon shots. I don't know if I'm out of line I really don't give a fuck, the guy got a little too close to my face so I have about zero fucks to give. Could've kissed the guy if I puckered my lips. 5 sq. blocks heard this dude's ass ripping. He turns bitch-made and quickly begins making an escape to the place restricted to employees only. I tried my best to get him to swing; I already pinpointed a weak knee I was about to maim and I was excited about the permanent limp I was about to create. There's a tree right beside us that looks like it REALLY wants to meet the dude's ugly fucking face and I'd love to give em' a forceful introduction. Except I'm disgusted at where my mind is, disgusted at the set of circumstances, disgusted by all of it. That pisses me off even further, I know I need to regain control of myself NOW but I can't my mind is screaming "MAIM" and "ATTACK", my spirit screams "BREATHE" and "RELAX", and all I can say is I'm glad he was the bigger man and ran away from the situation cause I wasn't going to.

Head back to the counter and unfuck the situation, explain wtf just happened, get the tickets reprinted, and head out to the smoking area. The same exact asshole is trying to run off two homebums and the fucker is screaming at them in the exact goddamned tone he used on me. Quickly shed my pack and guitar and run up on him, but quietly ask him if there's a problem as I'm about two inches from his face with my head cocked and my eyes are prolly doing crazy things and I'm spitting a giant fucking loogey on his dignity like he decided to do me in front of a bus full of folk I was supposed to kick it with and get to know and party with once we got to Seattle. Dude walks away muttering some shit then picks up his pace when I run up on him and ask if there's something he's trying to fucking say cause my hands REALLY wanna have a fuckin chat I'm done talking, and the homebums are all "good shit breh yer a fuckin badass breh" and ask if I have a cigarette they can get.

I'm in a vile state of mind and throw four cigarettes their way. They get the message and take off as well, and I have a moment to sit down and hopefully get my head back on right. This isn't who I want to be, but unfortunately its who I am, despite my best efforts to kill it and leave it in Columbus where it belongs. I'm disgusted, and still entirely consumed by the most primal kinds of emotions. Rage, anger, and violence fill my thoughts. I'm better than this. This is why I need to fill up on life. Get rid of the shit I fucking ABHOR by replacing it with something cute and cuddly, ya know? I'm working on it, Universe. Forgive me. I'm working on it, you know it to be true.

Tend to the wounds and bandage em', get the bleeding under control. Find some electrical outlets and plug in the phone to give it a little juice. Finally regain composure and I've got enough battery to take a walk with the headphones in, find a little park, and take some time to meditate. Clear the mind, whip up a peanut butter and honey sammich, down it with instant coffee. There's a nearby fountain, and I drink as much as I can handle. Splash some water on the face, and pull my little rag outta the pack and dry off. Feeling much better, I head back to the station and get good news that there's actually a train to Seattle if I wanna hop on it, turns out the problem wasn't so big afterall.

Hell yes I do...Get me OUT of here. How have you fucks NOT called the police yet??
Click here to buy the Anarchist's Guide to Travel!

Deleted member 125

I closed my account
this entire story makes not a single thread of sense to me at all... which leads me to think this person is a complete ass which ive pointed out before. IM GLAD YOU ENJOYED YER TRIP BRO I BET IT WAS STELLAR.

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