Friday, March 16, 2007

"Can't Sleep. Clowns will eat me." -Bart Simpson

I don't really think clowns will eat me if I sleep. I just can't right now. I am so wound up and tired and loopy that I'm actually practically bouncing off the walls. Joel keeps sweetly imploring me to just come to bed already, but really I think he wants me to just shut the hell up with the laughing out loud at Mimi Smartypants and the occasional surprise noises from pop-up ads.

The thing is, I'm at this hyper level of exhaustion where if I go lay down, I'll just end up entertaining myself by lightly, lightly touching his hair, not even enough for him to notice at first, until it finally bugs him enough to just wake him up. I used to do this to Amanda when we had to share beds on vacation when we were kids.*

*When I say "when we were kids," I mean the last time I did it was during Fun Girl Weekend less than a month ago.

I shouldn't do that, not least among the reasons being that Joel has to get up BEFORE THE SUN which is UNNATURAL and WRONG, people. If Mother Nature intended us to get up before sunrise, she would have instituted a loud universal honking sound to indicate such. Boyfriend has to rise and shine early enough to explain things like metamorphic rock and plate tectonics and magma (please read "magma" in a Dr. Evil voice, thanks) to adolescents, because he is good and noble and smart. Whereas my plans for tomorrow include taking a picture of a condemned Mexican restaurant and a new cafe opening at a commuter rail station, which- WHING DING DIDDLY DO**- the fun never ends!

**told you I was wound up

Oh, yeah and there are those pesky ten inches of snow coming tomorrow. Hopefully, no one will get hit by a train, because that's how today began. "Good morning, Chunky Photojournalist Barbie! It's me, the Grim Reaper, and I'll be rearranging your Thursday schedule!"

Actually, I doubt the Grim Reaper would use quite so many exclamation points.

PSA to readers: DON'T WALK ON TRAIN TRACKS. I want you to LIVE!


cindy w said...

You're lucky that Joel is so nice, I would kill Dave if he did that hair-touching thing to me.

That train story has been disturbing me ever since I read it. The guy had his back to the train? Was he suicidal? Or did he not hear it? Or was he trying to outrun it? I'm so confused.

Chunky Photojournalist Barbie said...

Yeah... the train thing. The train tracks run parallel to a very busy stretch of road with a lot of car dealerships, giant chain stores like Home Depot, Lowe's, Michael's, Petsmart, etc. A lot of day laborers, who are mostly undocumented men from Central America between the ages of 17 and 30, line up along this road every morning looking for work.

Basically, people who run gardening businesses, contractors, snow removal services, etc drive up and negotiate with the day laborers- $4 an hour to paint a house today, three guys only- for example. It's actually pretty overwhelming, the number of people who do it and the desperation with which the negotiations go down.

The man who got hit by the train was on his way to the busy stretch of road where the day laborers line up in the morning. He was probably following the train tracks from the town where a lot of recent immigrants live. He may have just been walking along them for a little while until he could cut through a car dealership parking lot to stand along the road.

The reason we know this, sadly, is that the accident happened on the tracks directly behind a BMW dealership. The BMW dealership, like all car dealerships, has 24-hour surveillance cameras of their property. I haven't seen the tape myself and would never want to.

However, I know from law enforcement that you can see the man walking on the tracks in the tape. The train came around a curve, blew its whistle twice but couldn't stop in time. Apparently, the victim didn't even flinch, didn't turn around after the first whistle. Then again, it all happened pretty fast.

I don't think he was suicidal, to tell you the truth, but the live of a day laborer can be pretty bleak. Mostly train suicides happen at busy stations where people planning to jump can stand right on the platform without attracting attention. It's usually strategic; i.e. the people know when express trains are scheduled to come through the station at high speeds without stopping.


cindy w said...

Yeah, we have lots of day laborers here too. One of the main pick-up points for them in Seattle is across the street from Scott's old condo. Which was 2 blocks from the office I worked in, back in the day when I lived in the city and walked to work. It always unnerved me to pass them, sort of "hmm, I'm pretty sure you just said something offensive to me and dammit, I wish I'd taken Spanish instead of French in high school."

It was the whole thing about how he never turned around that was bothering me about that story. I still don't understand how you can *not* hear a train whistle, unless it was on purpose.