Stopping the train

“All of this used to be our club,” he said, pausing for a moment, “They just came and took it.”

The sun beamed in across his hair. Laughing and passing the salt.

The fat kid looked up from straightening the table cloth and furrowed his brow. “I’ve been texting your dad and he never replies. The fuck?”

Narrowing my eyes, I hesitated. “My father passed away last year.” And I was overcome with grief again. I though I was done with it. I thought I had come to terms. But sometimes there’s just no stopping the train.

“What?” he laughed. “Dude, he’s right there,” he said and went back to straightening out the tablecloth, the curls of his hair bouncing as he shook his head.

Straining for another glance, the whoosh of The Shift came on hard.

“See here,” he said, pointing, “All that used to be the club. They just took it for the light rail train. Just took it.”

Indeed, I could see the ruins of the club from our rooftop vantage. “I need to get back,” I said, looking around for the exit, but finding only ruins beneath me: a dumpster, a used condom, a discarded Juggs and Guns magazine, broken beer bottles, ashes from a fire.

whoooooosh and I clutched my stomach, never quite ready for it.

“It’s the one on the right, dickhead!” I heard myself yelling out as I accelerated and yanked the wheel to the left. The horn of an impatient driver blared at me and yanked back again, gaining dangerously on the garbage truck in front of me. Glancing back over my shoulder, I found no place to go, waited one more car, and the drivers kept shrinking the gap to keep me from getting over.

The train blared its whistle to the left as it worked its way uphill.

“Shit, that was close,” I said and checked the rear-view to be sure someone else didn’t come up on my ass like I did the truck in front of me. I stretched up and saw my face covered in sweat.

I scanned to road ahead but we were down to 1 lane and I had nowhere to go. The train was gone. “Shit, shit, shit!” I said and pounded the steering wheel and hit the dash.

whooooooosh. Dammit.

“See, they put up a turn there. Said they needed it. I call bullshit,” he said and turned away, twisted his foot on his cigarette, and shrugged off.