Keeping Track


Watching the news lately, I’ve seen stories of three different men that have been hit by trains and died recently.  Two in Hatboro, one in Sharon Hill.  What the hell is going on?  Dudes just walking the tracks?  I have no idea.  But seeing these stories reminds me just how lucky I am to be alive.

My Dad tells me that I looked near-dead after my accident.  My aunt tells me the same thing.  Apparently I was a bloody mess.  But somehow I survived.  I don’t know how.  But I know—know—I was told to “go back.”  Over the years, so many people have said the words: It wasn’t your time.

I guess it wasn’t.  But for these men recently, it was their time.  How is that decided?  Is it pure luck?  Purpose?  Timing?  Maybe I died and this life is heaven.  Or hell.  The truth eludes me.  Reason.  Purpose.  I’m at an utter loss when it comes to answers.  Most days, I’m fine with not knowing.  But when I see a news story telling of yet another local man who met his demise on railroad tracks, I get a bit befuddled.

Now, we can make the argument that each minute we live, then technically we are cheating death.  I’m not too sure.  But I owe death at least one.  I got over.  Whether it was medicine, science, God, angels or whatever that saved me, I’m grateful.  I’m not one of those stories that people tell of a kid who died young.  There are no memorials in my name.  Shit, the holes in the fences I went through that and many other days are still there.  Had I died, things might have been different.

My apologies…  I’m rambling.  It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  I can’t seem to find my inspiration.  It was here somewhere…  Hence, I will ramble until something strikes me.

I went out again today, bought a couple more presents.  Books make great gifts.  But let’s be honest here.  When you give someone a book, you’re assuming to know what they like.  You’re also making an assumption about how they spend their free time.  Assuming they’ll have free time.  And so on.  But you can clearly discern what a person thinks of you by the type of book they give you.  I can’t tell you how many journals I’ve gotten over the years.  While I do apprectiate the thought: supportive of my passion; personal in ways other books may not be; filled with pure potential.  Yet, it hit me after a while that the people who gave me these (women) might just be telling me “shut up, write it down.”  It’s one of those gifts that say, “Here ya go, friend.  Good luck with all that.”  Then they expect to be in the acknowledgements for being “one of my biggest supporters.”  Truth it, all I’ve done up until recently is talk about writing.  I always had excuses for not.  Gotta work.  Need money.  I’m tired.  My pen ran out (not of ink, but with the notepad, that ho.)  It wasn’t until last year right around this time that I made the decision that I was going to write.  And that was that.  So faar, I’ve made a  few bucks.  Having all this time being unemployed, I should be writing furiously.  But like I said, I lost my inspiration somewhere along the line.  But I started listening to Wayne Dyer in my car again.  I’ve been reading up on physics.  (For some reason, this gets my juices flowing.)  I’m paying closer attention to my thoughts, seeing where they’re coming from, where they’re going.  I gotta get out of the house more.  Human interaction.  Conversations.  Shit like that.  Facebook doesn’t count.  Texting doesn’t count.  Chatting online doesn’t count.  I need to see facial expressions.  Smiles.  Frowns.  Looks of complete disappointment.  Ahhh, those are the best.  You know, you do or say something that rubs someone the wrong way and they just glare at you.  Hahaha, I love that.  But that’s the deal.  I can’t just write from memory.  Well, actually I could.  But that’s no fun.

Speaking of fun, I thought today that I’ve been jobless for two months now.  TWO MONTHS!  What the fuck, right?  I have applied for dozens of jobs.  Other than a brief phone call, I’ve not had one interview.  Hahaha.  Anyway, I am going to change my outlook.  From now on, it’s called “funemployment.”  That’s right.  I’m all party and no pout.  I LOVE not having a job.  No place to rush off to.  No one telling me that my work ethic is lacking.  No three-hour debate on where to order lunch.  No seeing how long I can wear the same socks before the office starts to reek.  No traffic jams or getting rear-ended by out-of-staters.  Life is GOOD.  So, come next Sunday, I will file my biweekly funemployment claim.  Then I will pay PECO, Comcast, Sprint, and Giant what I owe while sporting a toothy grin.  Because this IS fun!

See, it’s good to be alive.  And in the time it took me to write this post, I’ve remembered that it wasn’t my time.  Thank you for reading.  Subscribe to the blog.  Leave comments.  Tell a friend.

And to my biggest fan and truest supporter:  Chomp!!!

(Can’t wait to see the journal you got me!)

10 thoughts on “Keeping Track

  1. Awesome. Never knew you had it in you. I’ll be sure to hand you a fancy journal.. (For mary’s we call them diary’s) and tell you, yea, good luck with that. Have a happy holiday Rob!
    -Danny Gray

  2. This was a good one …. I remember how you looked that day – like you were dead or damned near. Just after that I had a guy working in the rail yards in S. Philly (Packer Av Terminal) that was drunk and tried to hop a car – missed and took off his L foot, R leg at the hip (with part of the hip bone) and his R testicle. All I could think of then was you. My partner and I worked at light-speed to get him packed up and IV lines running because of the blood loss. We packed what parts we could find on ice and ran like hell to the hospital (forget the name .. way down S Philly on Broad). He looked dead too. He lived and later tried to sue Conrail. He was so drunk he reaked, turns out he was an employee of Con-rail … I think he lost his case – never did hear though.
    It wasn’t your time … you still had things to get done. As for me, I’m glad you’re still around! It would suck if you were’nt. So … sit down and fuckin write something. How about NASA finding two ‘earth like planets’ orbiting a sun? Bombings in Iraq? How about some fiction? You need the wand that Harry Potter used, to pull some thoughts out of your head!
    Anyway … this blog was good.
    Love ya as always … DAD

    • Yeah, plenty of stuff to write about… Just whn I saw another story like this, I immediately felt like saying something. Love ya!

  3. Nice try but you’re not getting a journal from me, besides nobody uses journals anymore, that’s what iPads are for, maybe you need to ask some women to buy you an iPad but not me because I am piss poor!!!!

    Oh and BTW, you are full of CRAP, yeah I said it! It was NOT a year ago around this time that you decided to write, mmmkay? you had been writing a long time before that, and it was 2 years, roughly, before even that that you were chatting up that publisher/producer chick from down south, telling her some shit that you were a writer and were going to write a book, blah, blah, blah and she told you a bunch of stuff about “having” to write or whatever “lines” she used, and then you dragged your ass for 2 years because you were distracted with that secret thing and an alien?? but at least you took interest in writing about drunk people at sporting events (which incidentally was genius and you really need to get back to that, but I digress) the point being: you NEVER “decided” to write, it was always a part of you, even before your accident, and it is still a part of you and if you are not writing something every single day its because you are getting too settled in this SAH lifestyle you’ve made for yourself.

    Billy Joel once told me if you ever feel uninspired, go out and have an extramarital affair and if that doesn’t work then dress up in clothes you would never normally wear, go to a place you would never normally go and then watch people who are there, eavesdrop on their conversations, talk to them, and write down EVERYTHING you see, smell, hear, taste, experience, EVERYTHING. The world is your muse! If you are not out in it recording it then the only writers block you have is yourself!!!

    Chomp.

    • What’s this “SAH lifestyle” of which you speak? You can tell me in private if necessary… But yeah, I’ve explained the whole “decision to write” thing: basically, choices were made to surround myself with like-minded individuals. So far, so good.

  4. errr ummm I was gonna write a comment but that last one was pretty good, I thought I was the only one quoting billy. My kids name is Alexa Ray.

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