Thursday, July 9, 2009


I walked home from middle school.

Every day. Three miles or so. With my saxophone always and another kid named Clay sometimes.

I'd learned about entropy by walking along the train tracks. Because train tracks have already chosen the easiest path for me. I didn't have to make any decisions. Just walk in the center. Move if there comes a'train'a'runnin. Avoid eye contact with the two bums who might be along the route.

Once a girl from our middle school was raped by the tracks. Behind the Kroger. She said it was fine until they started taking turns on the evening news and I have no idea what happened to he after that. I don't even think I knew what rape was. I learned that from the tracks.

I learned that tar melts in the Alabama sun and it sticks to your shoes. Then, to your carpet.

I remember that smell of the wood. Tie after tie of hash marks. The days getting shorter and the tar sticking less.

When winter came, the world was no longer hidden past the trees - and I was no longer protected from heckling high schoolers who drove TransAms and wore RayBans.

They could into my tube.

Until I stepped onto the other side of the tracks. When the train came'a'runnin'.