Thursday, September 15, 2016


'If to only make things now
just a little bit different...',
that's what I used to say to
myself when altering
something. Fall of '67, I
guess it was, I remember
the Rolling Stones album,
'Their Satanic Majesty's
Request', kind of a dark
answer to the Beatles 'Sgt.
Pepper'. On the train from
Avenel one or a few times
that damn song 'She's A
Rainbow' (she comes in
colors everywhere), and
then 'Citadel' were always
stuck in my mind. Damn
how I did hate those songs.
Insipid, but they stuck. It
was like a cultural warfare
inside one's head : media
stuff, an assault of the
world. Junk. And yet
you hear it and  it won't
go away. I used to wonder
about medieval days, when
all those serfs were out in
the fields, chopping wheat
and tending cattle, what
they had going through
their heads that they couldn't
control  -  some Angelus or
an Easter tune from from
the nearby Abby. What did
they do about that stuff?
Perhaps that never happened
in pre-electric days when
'music' as it were was live
and done once. When most
everything of everyday life
was sacred stuff, prayers and
holy songs piled atop each
other by edict. I wondered
what they did.
The trains, the local ones,
back then (1967), used to
leave their little scheduled
stops, Avenel to NYC,
joining the mainline, as
they still do, after the trunk
line curve  at Rahway. It
was really cheap, something
like an 85 cent fare in-bound.
This was all and as well a
great part of my personal
eye-opening to the world
around me. When you're
growing up just a regular,
local and stupid suburban
boy, there are a lot of things
that you just never deal with
or get exposed to. Leastways
there was for me : lower-class,
regular old poor enough family,
living in a box-house in a row
of other box houses, and
nothing with anything
special to distinguish it
from  anything else, let
alone learning or taste or
breeding. Anything I knew
was fairly localized; even
the seminary days. But riding
the trains and buses, NYC
bound or back, I'd see a
million other things  -  trailing
across those Jersey meadows,
the trains back then (before
Amtrak and Acela rights of
ways too  -  they didn't exist),
they'd always get stuck in
the middle of the meadows
- waiting five or so minutes
for another train to pass, or
a  platform to open up out
along Penn Station, whatever.
It afforded me, these entire trips
an eye-opening glimpse into
the rest of the world. The
old red brick station of
Elizabeth, a certain has-been
of a place, those pre-occupied
people running back and
forth to work. They were
a specific sort of lower-level
business type. Elizabeth is
a really crummy, run-down
and wasted, town that once
was something much better,
and they still have this nice
little 1910 style train-station
tower yet to prove is,
except it's ignored and
discarded and no one
gives a hoot. You know,
there's one subject you
can't teach, in any school,
and that subject is the 'Past'.
The way the trains work, in NJ
at the present time, and they
did not work this way in 1967,
is that (and it's an extremely busy
commuter corridor, extremely) is
that, since about the 80's, the
tracks themselves are owned by
Amtrak, which runs a national
network of(supposed) high speed
rail lines all across the country,
north to south and east to west.
Along with Amtrak, and just
beneath it, they also own
Acela, another 'swift' link rail
service. As I said, they 'own'
the tracks and take all precedence
-  so whenever a NJ Transit
train  -  the regular town-to
town service we all use  -  is
suddenly 'in the way' of an
approaching Amtrak or Acela
train, and they cannot switch to
a third track (which happens
quite often), they have to
pull over and/or just stop
until the other trains
goes whizzing me. It's
sometimes quite un-nerving,
but I guess always without
mishaps  - kind of weird o
be on a train knowing another
train has the 'right of way' 
over yours.It wasn't like this
at all back then  -  we'd just
instead sit there, sometimes
in the middle of a real nowhere
for 15 minutes  -  things were
a lot more cramped and slots
had to open up. The commuter
trains had bar-cars and every
car had people smoking, so
no one was ever like nervously
bored. I guess it's the same
now except, cell phones,
video games on phones (I see
that often), and or porno on
small screens (I see that
often too), keep those same
sorts relaxed. The mix on
trains, however  -  people
and noise and language and
behavior,  leaves a lot to be
Bus travel which was even
cheaper, was worse. For the
bus, I'd get myself over to
Carteret, to a bus stop by
the Turnpike entrance there,
in a stupid shopping strip.
It was like 60 cents. About
the same aunt of time, or
close. Cool thing as, in that
trip, I recall well, you'd pass
those same Jersey meadows
by highway  -  billboards for
all the Broadway plays, huge
slabs  of rock on the left, where
there used to be a monstrous
stone outcropping, a real
landmark, jutting up out of
the ground,with an asylum
at the top, and a crematorium,
the big smokestack of which
you'd see. That too now is
mostly all gone  -  all that's
left is a small outcropping
of rock, graffiti'd, and a park
around it all. Really boring,
ringed by the Turnpike. The
other thing  -  which I loved
-  in the Summer months,
was the acres of Black-Eyed
Susans, which is a wildflower
or sorts, and grew madly
everywhere. That too, now
is all gone. One of the things
about New Jersey, as you
enter NYC, is how horrible
it is. What a cauldron of
lies they've presented. The
Meadowlands  -  which
essentially are no more  -
even though, as usual,
they sanctimoniously
proclaim how they're
protecting and saving 
the oh-so-needed and 
important vital 'lungs' of 
New Jersey, right through 
here, are now paved over, 
new ring-roadways, 
thousands of new
condominiums and 
dwellings, and the
Frank Lautenberg (a 
criminal Senator, by the
way from Lyndhurst or 
Rutherford or Paramus, 
somewhere up there, appointed
his perch when its rightfully
elected guy, Sen. Robert 
Torricelli, self-destructed
and had to resign), to 
handle all the newly 
arrived commuters and 
people, supposedly, I 
guess, living in that mud 
and muck of the 'very 
important' Meadowlands. 
It's all a crock, plus, besides 
the egregious use of meadows 
for sports stadiums and 
junk-rock concerts, they're
now building a huge 
amusement park and 
shopping center, replete 
with a giant ferris wheel.
They built this Torricelli
Station, back then in the
absolute middle of nothing, 
all by itself  -  it's huge, 
stone, and grandiose, and
then they stared building 
these big highway roads 
to and from it. This was 
back when they were 
still babbling about their
respect and 'preservation'
of the Meadowlands  - 
which turned out, really, 
to be about  5 acres, set 
aside, with a walkway
and some pretty miserable 
visitor's center and some 
lame-ass Park Service 
guides lurking about. 
What a crock. They did
all of this before there was
even any legislation to
allow it, and before they
were even allowed to do
it. All these political 
bastard types got in early,
made their deals, bought 
parcels of nothing land 
on the cheap, and then 
sold it all off for millions 
when it became 'legal' 
to build on it. They 
passed their own bank
keys. Lying sacks of 
shit criminals. Now, the
buses and trains roll past
there, and all you can 
see is rows of housing
and a thousand people 
at a time, from that 
housing, jumping 
on trains, or off and
with all their 
high- finance 
NYC fancy jobs.
I had to see all this,
and I may have been
dumb but I was never
stupid. She's a rainbow?
She comes in colors?
Yeah, money green's
the only color most of
them know.

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