Not a Typical Morning

An announcement that train service would be restarting momentarily drew more noise from the gaggle of honking geese and buzzards in the station.  I took my leave.  I went for my cigarettes, in my car, and tried to calm down.  I didn’t go to the station house on my way back; I went straight to the platform, but it did me no good.  The “experts” herded out there as well, just in time for the loudspeaker voice to announce the next train coming through wouldn’t be stopping at several intermediate stops between SmallTownVille station and the next stop, Bison Orchard.  This set off a new wave of grumbling complaints about Bison Orchard, how “dey” (the train company) kissed “deir asses” and such.

At least outside, I couldn’t hear them, and their irritating nose-oriented voices wouldn’t echo.  I climbed onto the train, and prayed still more.  I didn’t know what to pray for anymore.

The train rickety-rocked down the rails, past one intersection, then another.  I knew the next would be the accident site.  Well before my train reached it, the triple engines of the freight came into view.  My heart sank.  Three engines.  A big freight.  Before the first engine, men in neon yellow and reflective-stripped vests waved flares, took photographs with large black cameras, and milled about.  I looked through the windows opposite me, and the blazing lights of emergency vehicles splashed over rain-soaked streets and bounced from windshields of cars held back or detoured.

Train car after train car rolled past my window.  Stacks of truck trailor boxes piled atop one another rested on the flatbed cars.  Slowing to a crawl, my train eased through the crossing, the gates down, red lights blinking emotionless warnings.

The “experts” across the aisle from me muttered “JEEZUZ” and “OhmyGAHD” and other such ejaculations of horror.  I caught sight of a piece of the vehicle’s wreckage, just a glance, but what I saw iced my blood.  An unrecognizable lump of ruined metallic shrapnel, like the branches of a twisted, ancient bramble, stabbed into view from the back of a flatbed tow truck, and part of the dashboard, remnants of what may have been something expensive and foreign-built, but I could see the seats, the interior of the car, and my brain jarred, that’s not right, something’s not right, who’d have the top down on a convertible in this weather?  That’s wrong, it can’t be right, there’s something —

The roof of the car was missing.  The car had no top, at all.

I couldn’t look anymore.  I turned away to stare at the freight cars flashing by, my commuter transit gaining speed as it cleared the accident site.

I’m not sure that image will leave me.  I got to work about half an hour late this morning, and still haven’t shaken the image.  I’ve written this, and done several other things that are actually work-related, and yet … there it is, burned on the screen of my mind, so I can see it even if I turn my brain off.

And I’ll pray again.  I’m not sure what for this time.


18 thoughts on “Not a Typical Morning

  1. Raga6

    Wow, what a shitty morning. That poor person or persons. It’s really sad those train morons couldn’t and didn’t stop to think about the lives of the people affected by the sadness of the morning. I feel for those who will be truly suffering because of this.

    Also, people really suck. Sadly, I’m not surprised no one cared about the poor victims. This is a me, me ,me society we live in now. This is why I can’t stand the masses. All selfish, stupid sheep baaing at each other thinking they are all smarter and better than all the other sheep.

    I hope your weekend is better than today.

  2. Raga — Oh, hon, I’m glad to see you. I’ve been thinking about you LOADS lately. Hope you and the gang are doing great.

    You’re right — we live in a very selfish society. Probably not just here either, but worldwide. In general, people are all about “Number 1” and everyone else — family included! — comes second … or less.

    I’m better now, but it shook me pretty hard to think about what might’ve happened to the person or people in the car. Especially after I saw what was left. I’m hoping … well, I don’t know what I’m hoping. But I’m still praying.

    And as much as the “experts” irritated me, I’m afraid I’m as callous (if not as orally flatulent) as they are. I had a moment of less such, but maybe it was only a moment. When does a dick ever know he’s a dick? I’ll always wonder.

    Thanks for coming by, hon, and I hope you have a great weekend too. 🙂

  3. Now that I’m back online, I tried looking up the report again in the news, and I can’t find anything more than just a freight incident. Perhaps it was just a car that stalled on the tracks, because I’d think if there were injuries, those would be reported, right? LTY

  4. Fal — Maybe. I tried looking for it on the train company’s site, and they had bupkes too. *Shrug* False alarm, maybe? Nobody hurt, nothing to worry about? It’d be my luck the one time I’m a sensitive human being, it was for NOTHING *Ms. Bitters’ voice*. 😉


  5. Raga6

    I LMAO off your orally flatulent! Too funny, even when you’re down. 😉 Plus I think most dicks know they are being dicks most of the time, they just act like they don’t. Also, you aren’t a dick. Just a little jaded. But so am I so it’s okay! 😀

    If you need to talk or hear me babble away about nothing you know I’m easy to reach so if you need some Dr. Raga time the doctor is in and a phone call away.

  6. Raga — ROLFLMFAO … AT WORK! Too much, hon.

    We should schedule a conference call with you, Sherri and us, and just everybody let their hair down and de-stress. Especially my fat ass. I need it.


  7. Pingback: Something Phenomenal … « DarcNess

  8. Congrats on being recognized for such a great piece. I’m just so sorry that it had to be such a tragic situation that prompted it. Isn’t it crazy how God doesn’t let anything go wasted? Even your crappy morning, He’s using for good. Not that getting recognized makes the accident worth it, but I hope you know what I’m saying. He’s redeeming even this.

  9. Casey — I do know, hon. You’re right – when I wrote the piece, I didn’t have a clue it would — never mind how MUCH — have such impact on people. Hundreds of them came by to tell me how it touched them. It was … weird. But all glory to God. I just dumped some text out. The rest is His work.

    Thanks for visiting, hon. 🙂

  10. Bryce — Thanks, bud. I wish I could accept the compliment out of hand, but to be honest, that sort of concern for my fellow man is rare for me too. I’m a jackass that way.

    Thanks for coming by and reading it though. The response this piece got on deviantART was amazing — it was awarded a “Daily Deviation” and brought to the front page of the community. It got something like 2400 views in a day, and I’ve got almost 200 comments, all of them along the lines of what you said here. I guess it spoke to people.

    Thank you again. I’m hoping this represents the new me.

  11. When I started reading, I thought this was fiction. Then I read the comments, so I now I presume it is true. A terrible story. I mean, a good terrible story. Does that make any sense?

    It is true; and yes, you’re making perfect sense. Thank you. 🙂

    Back in my Catholic school days, the nuns would have us pray every time an ambulance or fire truck raced by the school. Most of what they taught me in Catholic school I gave up on long ago, but I still do that. Well, my form of prayer anyway. And I don’t advocate prayer in schools, but perhaps an acknowledgment that another human being is in trouble, wouldn’t be a bad thing.

    I do advocate prayer in school; that’s one of the uses. I don’t remember being told to do that in my Catholic school days, but I still do it. I can’t say I always have, but I do now. Not every time, Lord knows. But I do it.

    You’re right in your last comment up there–this piece does bring up a lot.

    It seems to strike something in folks. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

  12. I’ve never met another former Catholic school student who remembers the nuns telling them to pray for ambulances and such. Maybe my memory is faulty or maybe it was particular to my school for some reason–but I’m glad they did it or that I just think they did.

    Either way, it’s a nice thing to do. But I think it’s even cooler if you only thought they did, and you were actually the one responsible. 🙂

    At least in my story no people were killed–but a family’s livelihood was wiped out. And I felt sorry for the cows munching grass and standing around on a beautiful September day–and then along we came… I didn’t want to post bloody pictures because, well, it seemed gratuitous. It is hard believe you didn’t have something intelligent to say, but you’re not ever required to comment.

    I didn’t have a camera to take pictures … thank God. The scene was gruesome enough with just twisted metal and broken glass. Seeing something like you did would be hard to stomach on a lot of levels, I think. And I have surprised myself plenty with how often I have nothing intelligent to say. My wife’s a saint, I tells ya.

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