Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Category: Trainride (page 1 of 3)

Odiferous Bezoar for the masses

hathaway, sexy, armpits, gross

I came home from work and went upstairs to change into my oh-so-comfy ‘Cinnabun fat’ clothes.
As I took off my shirt I noticed that my armpits smelled/reaked of rotting onions.
WTF? [how about some garlic?]
I am usually meticulous regarding my personal hygiene and stinky garbage pits make me run to the shower.
But I didn’t work out.
I didn’t work in a coal mine.
And I didn’t even stretch my legs, or even my eyebrows.
Hell, I didn’t even stir a hot chocolate from Starbucks which can require a massive amount of energy.
So where the hell did this stench come from?
Homeless shelter smell, I am not.
Tomorrow morning I will shower for twice as long.
Will it help?
Only my armpits will know.
And the previously crying people on the commuter rail home as well . . .



ps. And Miss Hathaway? Nice pits . . .


Waiting to be forgiven is a lonely and melancholy place.
Taking the train to wherever might just suffice.
For tonight . . .


Cairns & Innisfail

I am saying serious prayers tonight for a country I have yet to visit.
If you’ve heard about the tropical cyclone Yasi, you will know what I’m talking about.
This nasty monster has morphed into a cat 5 cyclone.
Not good.
There are many people that I love living there.
Please say a prayer for all those that just couldn’t get out of the way of this bloody beast.
(and there will be many)
Mother Nature needs a serious reality check in terms of what normal human beings can handle.
Looking for some serious mercy here.
But as a wise friend said, “Que, sera, sera . . . ”
Give it up.
Just give it up.



Christmas, trains, God

I stood at South Station tonight watching the Christmas Train roll along the tracks.
They set it up every year and tonight I found myself daydreaming [night dreaming?] a bit,
reminiscing about days gone by, Christmases past, simple times and in some smaller way, happier times.
Gone are the days of smoking Lionel train sets
and Adirondack baseball bats made of white ash, a hardwood that had that ‘swack’ sound
when you made contact with the ball.
We didn’t use those shitty aluminum bats made to save the freekin’ rainforest.
We cut down trees for bats and played baseball.
End of story.
I wonder how many boys have ever discovered the feeling of a baseball finding the ‘sweet spot’ on a bat;
it is something almost indescribable in a way.
It feels so very right and almost heavenly.
The same goes for the waxy and comfortable aroma upon opening of a fresh box of  ©Crayola crayons.
The memories of things that made me happy back then are now located high on a shelf,
out of view and out of reach.
I’m afraid that if I did try to touch them that they would sadly dissolve, settling into some
cob-webbed and cranial antechamber to be forever lost and untouchable ala ‘the Island of misfit Toys’;
“Nobody wants a Charlie in a box.”
Or a train with square wheels.
Christmas is supposed to be a season of hope and sacred renewal, love and unexpected miracles, the innocence of a child and the birth of the Christ.
My biggest problem is my inability to turn off the omnipresent and methodical holiday din; a most socially accepted version of seasonal torture.
Please don’t waterboard me with the Carpenter’s Christmas album.
I’ll give you my PayPal  and Amazon password, just not that.
My mind gets filled with everything but holiday spirit as sights, lights and sounds careen off my internal walls of yuletide cynicism and silent nights; I want so much more for my heart but it never seems to happen.
Maybe this year . . . maybe I will drift away on some runaway train to a tropical island where I can sell hot dogs from a stand while drinking Guinness and smoking Cuban cigars.
My Perfect Merry Christmas.
In a perfect world . . .


Nebula (II)

Somewhere, amidst the shattered crystal silence of daybreak. . .
I find you
the dusty silhouette of a life
resting on a shelf in my mind that’s sadly gathering dust,
the gentle flutter of wings sets the shadows free
I watch as you dance among the countless stars, set deep in the face of a forever-winter sky

a whisper; but a sotto-voce prayer moves me through a time and space where I realize I have lost you all over again
A transient streak of starlight falls into the invisible arms of the waiting horizon
and I look to the east, my heart finally believing in the goodbyes and the time stained no mores
and I begin to understand why
He chose you
to shine
so soon…

Just some thoughts regarding the past.
5 years and you’re still on my mind, Mom . . .
Miss you


You know you’re getting out there when the only reason you know it’s Monday
is because there’s an NFL game on tonight.
My Tweet this morning was telling to say the very least:
“I’ve officially lost track of where the week ends and where the new one begins.”
Everything seems just so helter-skelter these days and Monday only serves to exacerbate the issue.
For instance; last Monday night, a train I occasionally ride home was dispatched and routed improperly.
Long story short, the outbound train was traveling on the same track as the inbound train.
Never a good thing with that inertia thing and all.
Both were going @ 30-40 MPH.
The phrase ‘as subtle as a train wreck’ springs to mind.
There would have been some serious carnage, folks.
Mucho carnagio, muchachos.
Thank God the situation was recognized and thank God it was rectified.
Still makes me wonder, what if?
Some assflap person was not on their game that day and many people could have paid the ultimate train fare.
The MBTA would have loved that, too.
The money grubbing bastards.
Sad, huh?
It was a small revelation of sorts for me.
A ‘holy-crap-I’m-still-alive kinda thing’  because I rode a different train that night.
( a 25 minute delay, medical emergency . . .  sheesh)
Even the automated train announcements were strange today.
It’s a woman’s voice that tells you what stop is coming up.
The voice sounds like June Cleever from ‘Leave it to Beaver’.
I’m tired but I am definitely not kidding.

“Beave? Wally? The next stop is Framingham. Get ready Beaver!”

(the sampled voice even mispronounces the approaching town’s name as well which adds to my Monday weirdness.
It should sound like ‘Fray-ming-ham’ but the voice says ‘Fram-ing-ham’ God help us all.)

Steve, the conductor, walked by and said to me, “Oh, man . . .  Mondays.”
Oh, man, he is absolutely right.

Lumbricus Terrestris

Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, late night, morning people

I am not, I repeat, not a morning person.
Never have been, never will.
Ask my wife.
Ask my kids.
Hell, ask Bill the conductor on the 6:30am train I take into Boston.
He checks my ticket and says, “Have a nice nap, sir.”
Bill would honestly say, “Definitely NOT a morning person.”
(*should be, “Not a person at all. He’s more of a thing at this time of the morning.”)
Some of you are ‘morning people’, happy, cheerful and ready to greet the new day with vim and vigor.
Sorry, you people suck.
You probably do 800 sit ups before your first cup of coffee too, right?
“Good Morning!”
If this phrase is spoken to me and shouted from the fiddler on the rooftops with verve and effervescent happiness,
it makes me want to do one thing:
punch the face that’s brave and stupid enough to utter it.
My God, what are you thinking?
I’m still sleeping for Christ’s sake and you are seriously getting on my nerves.
I need about 4 hours to wake up.
Why the hell can’t you ‘roosters’ get that?
I need coffee, juice and a personal five-minute sitdown on the porcelain throne before someone thrusts the ‘happy’ shit on me, okay?
Ease the hell up, all you happy morning people.
You’re messing with my head.
I just choose to burn the candle at the other end (as I do a blog post at midnight).
You, on the other hand, have been sleeping for 3 hours.
But do I call you and say, How are Ya! Good Evening!
I don’t.
I may send a totally incoherent email or two but that’s another story.

We all have trolls inside of us that make us act as we do.
You morning people have Richard Simmons.
Us nighthawks?
We have Ed Asner (Lou Grant) from the Mary Tyler Moore show and he hasn’t taken a decent shit in 2 years.
(click on Lou up above for a classic MTM moment)
Take two steps back until my green light comes on, okay?
That’s all I’m saying.
This morning I poured orange juice into my coffee.
Mr. Grant was not real impressed.
I’ll try again tomorrow morning but it will probably be the same.
Epic Michael Fail.
My brain is chemically challenged in the morning is all.
As Huey Lewis once sang, “I want a new drug . . . “

2,592,000 seconds

time, blogging, trains, writing

I figured out that I spend approximately one month a year riding the train back and forth to Boston.

One month.

30 days.

720 hours.

43,200 minutes.

2,592,000 seconds.

I write, read, sleep, text message, eat, drink
and look out the slightly opaque windows and think.
I’ve been doing this for over 4 years and if it weren’t for my writing stuff and my
Ipod Nano (thank you M), I think I would have thrown in the towel years ago.

I will say that it endlessly fascinates me when I look back and read some of the things
I’ve written on the train; the original thought process with my cross outs and all.
It’s the true ‘me’ that not too many people see.
Pamela and the girls have seen much of it and one other special friend
but my journals tend to get sequestered soon after they’re filled.

The journal I’m currently writing in has
Beginnings, mishaps & didgeridoos’, ‘Akubra’, ‘Communion’ and ‘Serenissima’.
The corrections and edits are actually quite funny in a way; silly things,
inconsequential explosions of neurons misfiring and my internal editor trying to patch it up.
It’s a literary ER of sorts going on in my mind 24/7.
Though I’m very proud of much of my work, there’s so very much more to do.
Tough pill to swallow when I look at the stacks of yellow legal pads & journals filled with my thoughts, blues and dreams.
I currently have 7-8 stories waiting to see the light of day.
It makes me sad because I just don’t have the time to devote to editing them and finishing them in the fashion they deserve.
When they’re ready, the will let me know.
I honestly think that what I’m trying to do here is keep myself sane as I think about those 2,592,000 seconds.
You know what my commute needs?
A 20 minute neck massage times 2; into the city and out.
Maybe a rub or three on the soles of the  feet on the way home.
Hey, a writer can dream, can’t he?


His shadow, embedded in ice
frozen in time,
Inescapable in ways unimaginable
with cold that numbs the very soul,

Night train, with no destination in sight
on the broken hands of time,
a window seat overlooking an arctic world
searching for signs of his life,

Eyes cry freezing rain
a polarized crystalline blue
with hopes of some homeward bound image
but it’s never safe from zero

michael’s on ice,
a seasonal flatline in black
like the snow-tipped mountains of forever
with a soul numbing wind of 1 below zero,

Winter Words

I’m a bad Santa, a Grinch and yuletide curmudgeon of the highest order and I admit it.
Just the thought of this most blatantly commercial and candy-cane-twisted holiday sends me running for my dimly lit cave high on Mount Crumpit.
I’ll level with you and say that in my icy-cold heart I will always harbour a love
for the Christmas holiday with its ‘peace on earth, goodwill toward men’ mentality
but jeepers creepers how many lameass Mercedes Benz commercials can these ding-a-lings make?
Even if I had the dough I would never put a giant red bow on an SL550 and give it as a present.
You gotta be one hell of a pretentious douchebag to pull that one off.
I hardly ever watch TV and at this time of the year, even more so.
Television is where your radar picks up on all the subliminal horseshit this holiday has sadly come to represent.
Every year I try and trick myself into believing that I still hold close the personal ties of holidays past.
I’d be better off sticking my head into a steaming pile of reindeer shit.
Working retail does little but mar and mutilate a spirit that’s sadly on the ropes anyway.
I don’t hear the silver bells and I can’t see the blinking colored lights (unless they’re from a cruiser pulling me over for a busted taillight, Merry Christmas, ossifer)
Maybe it’s a psychological omission on my part, a defense mechanism to keep me from losing my plate of milk and cookies.
I should have dumped this post to Crumpit when I had the chance but I also felt it was only fair to explain my ‘month of December’ frosty sense of discontent.
If you visit here around the holidays you’ll notice that Mick gets very quiet.
I choose to leave my thoughts in a quiet place where silent snow falls, stars twinkle and the moon is always full.
It’s only in this blue crystal space that I build my sky-high snow forts of thought, ideas dripping like icicles in my frozen castle of winter words.
Maybe this will be the year that I somehow find a way to melt the walls of snow I’ve piled high, my vast emotional fortress of sorts.
Maybe this will be the time I find the absolute truth that lives peacefully inside a holiday I can honestly say I miss.
Then reality taps me on the shoulder and says, “Read This, Grinch.”
Yeah, we’re off to a brilliant start.
And people wonder why I despise this holiday and what it currently represents.
God help us, everyone.
I’m going back to my dimly lit cave, thank you very much . . .

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