I was sitting at the Secaucus Junction train station on Friday afternoon listening to Bowie’s “The Prettiest Star” on my iPod when my dad called to tell me my grandma had just died. This was not unexpected as she was old and had been bedridden for a few years after having suffered a stroke. And, quite frankly, I wasn’t even that close to her, probably having spent less than a month’s combined time with her during my lifetime. Nevertheless, I broke down for an ever-brief second or so, not quite long enough for the slobs and perverts that hang at a train station to ogle me, to think me the “weirdo,” but long enough to feel something come over me.
I spend too much fucking time at train stations. Waiting. Waiting as my life passes me by. No one lays on their death bed reminiscing about the 25%* of their life that they sat waiting–their life in standstill–depending on countless other people and events in the universal ballet to get their train there, to free up a snag on the highway so they can move, to have a crowd of fatassed tourists part so they can continue on down the sidewalk toward their destination. To not have their life slowed down by uncontrollable others, to let their life fucking continue on to the “important stuff.”
As my grandma lay dying in a cheap hospital bed, I sat on a cheap wooden bench wedged between a sleeping bum and a fat retard in a Carlos Beltran jersey seemingly dying the same death. I will never get those minutes back. No matter how smart, rich, educated, handsome, flirtatious, or powerful one is, time is not something you can acquire more of. In fact, it is the only thing one can’t acquire more of**. As Aurelius said, “Yesterday a blob of semen; tomorrow embalming fluid, ash.”
Nothing is more a kick in the ass to “carpe diem” than the absolute madness of sitting alone in a train station. It’s like a goddamn coma that you are fully conscious of being in. What can I do? A crossword, a little light reading, learn who Jennifer Aniston’s currently spreading her legs for, listen to a podcast, dick around on my phone, eat some Pringles, doodle?
This is no life.
Which is why, what is the first thing a person says after a long and hectic train/bus/airplane/car ride?
“I NEED A DRINK.”
A drink to get their comatose life kickstarted again. The alcohol acting like the jumper cables to your heart and brain. Allowing you to reenter the world of emotions and feeling, pain and happiness, want, desire, horniness, and plain old living.
There is no time to scrutinize the offering, the drink. No time to select something “special. ” You just take what’s fucking given to you and enjoy it. In my case, I entered my friend’s house at the end of a long and arduous trek up the eastern seaboard and was handed a Wachusett Summer. Nice. I’d never had it before.
And it was one of the better summer beers I’ve ever tippled. Spicy with a good, rich body of lemon and wheat flavors. I detest most so-called “summer” beers because they are citrusy and thin little offerings. Just cause it’s July doesn’t mean I need to slug down watery piss. Now, while Wachusett Summer doesn’t have much ABV to speak of, it’s still a quality brew. In fact, I’d say it’s almost as good as Sam Adam’s terrific summer offering. I’ll certainly have it again on my next once-a-decade trip into New England.
Thus, I said a silent cheers to my grandma and began trying to enjoy my life again courtesy of glorious beer.
*Made up stat.
**Save maybe a few more inches at the end of your cock (though I hear medical technologies can do wonders nowadays!)