Home > Uncategorized > For that one adoring fan out there….

For that one adoring fan out there….

There are some who don’t appreciate the choppy, emotionally distant way that I write.  Most, it seems, actually do like it.  One of my former creative writing teachers recently said he “like(s) my style — clipped and understated.”

The following is an exercise from a current creative writing class.  We (students) were all given the same picture–seemingly abandoned railroad tracks–to write about.  This piece is a little underdeveloped, but still fun.  It is a gift to you, fan.   -AJ

The railroad crossing arm drifts down in front of my braking car.  Flashing lights.  Other vehicles stop behind me.  We form a line; a caravan of sub-compacts and SUV’s.  Headlights from the other side flicker as the train clanks by.  In times like these, there is no wrong side of the tracks.

I turn the radio off.  Just morning talk shows with their bad jokes and hand-me-down headlines.  Sponsors who can’t afford better advertising.  Theme music that fades in from a commercial break, teasing you with the thought of actual music.

The train slows, giving me enough time to study the backyard murals.  Poetic slang from faraway places.  Silly slogans; gangland symbols.  Little glimpses of the American dream.  Tee-Bone was here—there—somewhere with his aerosol cans of blue paint.  As was Red Dawg.  Profanity seems to be the only thing spelled correctly.

Drivers behind me get anxious, inching closer together.  Sardines, individually wrapped in our own tin can containers.  Some pull out and drive back towards the interstate.  Tardy timecards on a Monday can curse the entire work week.  Some people care.

An ill-fitting plastic lid leaves brown streaks down my cardboard to-go cup.  I sip at the lukewarm coffee as it slobbers a few drops onto my pants.  Khaki slacks; already rumpled from seatbelt creasings.  I roll the window down as the train settles to a stop.  Another morning cigarette.

Dust—and ash—has collected on my charcoal colored dash.  Someone should vacuum the crumbs and dirt up off of the seats and floorboard.  Someone should care.  You can hardly tell in the morning twilight anyway.

Wristwatch says its quarter to six.  People are already at the office, flipping on computers; warming up copy machines.  Incorporated America is being roused from its weekend nap.  Some people are worried; in a hurry to join their coworkers.  Me, well, I’m fine right here with the train.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Mung yan daddio
    March 21, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Very cool and enjoyable to read. I have never rode on a train before.

  2. Kelley
    March 22, 2010 at 9:48 am

    The description here makes the visual live and unique, making my mind’s work easy. I notice now that the first time through I added steaming breath and a blank morning stare. You don’t describe those things, but they’re drawn from his words. He’s forced to slow down, but unlike others today, he’s not running from interference. I want to know more about him, maybe who he thinks it is that should be caring. I get the feeling that it’s his self, but what i see an opportunity for more insight. An abandoned heart perhaps? Or a new romance that could be shaking his comfortable sense of carelessness?

    Dust and ash has collected on my already
    charcol colored dash, you could say it’s had a nice fresh coat of color, but some one thinks otherwise.


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