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July 19th, 1999

Well? Well?
Monday being written Tuesday on the train as we pull out of Seattle. Returned the car to Avis at their downtown lot under the monorail just south of the Space Needle and took a cab to the station. Very easy, even for a Sole Prop. It's summer and the train is full, people standing in line for both coach and first class, I'm sitting in one of the chairs watching. I figure if I have a reserved compartment, why stand in line behind all these people to check in early? Why not wait until later when the line is gone and they are in the process of loading the train, get my boarding pass and follow on behind? The couple sitting beside me has obviously made the same collective decision, but twenty people tugging at their luggage are waiting patiently for their turn at the counter. I am not clear on the concept and the information I need to clarify this will I think teach me things I need to know about me and my failure to master this chapter in my Zen Book Of Lessons.

I'm not good in lines. Well, I'm not good in lines most of the time. Sometimes when I'm cruising at 30,000 feet I can spin space-time around me like a cloak, integrating the everything into a single piece, allowing me to make reasonable small talk, for example, with the guy at the checkout counter who's been discussing his trip to Las Vegas with the checker across the isle as I and twelve other people await his attention pushing carts filled with ice cream, organic vegetables and potted plants instead of carving his heart out with the weed hacker I found in the gardening department. I have not yet accomplished this state of grace in a post office, post office time-space residing, you understand, in an altogether different dimension. I don't allow myself many opportunities to practice. Lest I lose it.

Still, I wonder about my capacity for waiting in lines, the state of my blood pressure, the reasons I've made it such a big deal to keep my commute under 30 minutes, avoiding so many trips to San Francisco, for example, just because I know the traffic will be hard and the parking horrible. How do others feel sitting out on a freeway parking lot while their one hour commute increases in one minute increments, one, after another, after another, after another? How do they handle it without relieving on their wives and their husbands and their kitty cats?

Maybe they don't stress out. Maybe I'm the only rider going bonkers when the bus is an hour late. Maybe people sit in traffic blissed out doing Ezio Pinza sing alongs with a lady in the South Pacific or listen to Dr. Bob discuss herbivores and plants. If this is so, there's another chapter I've missed.

Well? Well?

Oregon east of the train with the digital Nikon, desperate, knowing I need a picture in hand when I arrive home.