I have been watching a lot of videos of trains on YouTube lately, rail fan videos. It’s good meditation for me, and anyway, I have lots of time. I have also watched videos about freight hoppers, hobos. I have seen this in real life: dudes and chicks doing the freight hopping thing. One time I was sitting in my car at a railroad crossing. As I watched the train go by, I saw a guy lounging on the porch of a coal car, his legs crossed as he leaned back and took in the scenery. I remember thinking, Wow, I bet that guy isn’t worried about some of the dumb stuff I’m worried about: poorly entered data, grouchy coworkers, low pay in cubicle hell.
Another time I saw something like this was when I was in DC, riding the rapid transit Metrorail. We were going over a bridge, and below, there were a bunch of trains. I saw a young lady and a young man down there. They were lugging their gear around, peeking in this train car and that – looking for a good car to ride in, I guess. They had that anarchist look. Hair shaved up one side and braided down the other. Their clothes were a mishmash of black military-lookin garb/hippie/vintage/utility/backpacker/RumbleTumbleRagTag.
One person’s freedom is another person’s slavery …duh …it makes me want to burp, pointing out something so …duh. But what does this really mean? Well: the freight hoppers I’ve seen; the Rainbow People I’ve seen; the regulars at the DC protest and marches I’ve seen. . .these people could make a very strong argument that they are free, very free, as free as birds. They can think their own thoughts 24/7, they can live their own thoughts. There is no ConstantBossMan. But there are cops and …money gotta come sometime/somehow – so they have to expose themselves to OccasionalBossMan (or at least the occasional disdainful sidewalk commuter). An OccasionalBossMan, or the occasional disdainful sidewalk commuter, can be much more cruel than a ConstantBossMan (who has to continue to look at my discontented mug day after day).
I have only jumped a train once. The train was in my way. I was on foot, and I was on my way to class. A train was transiting across my path. It was a coal train. So I ran up beside a train car. I jumped onto the ladder and climbed up. I climbed through the porch, and I climbed down the ladder on the other side of the car and I jumped off.
I like to think I’m free. The thought occurs to me, I like to think I’m free. But this is just another thought, like all my other thoughts. And these days, I like to apply the following remedy to 95% of my thinking: who cares. Freedom’s just another word that some lady with a weird voice once sang in the 60s, in a time that seemed much freer than today – it seemed that way using: THINKING.
Sometimes I’m free from all the thinking. This assessment was made with thinking though.
Freedom does indeed occupy my thinking, considerably. Anyone who ever scrutinized my work history would see that. (There’s actually a scrutiny happening to my work history right now. A job offer was made. Past sins might be being dug –these could work to null out the job offer. Who knows/who cares).
In closing, I’d like to say, I love ya …no matter how free you think I am -or you are -compared to me -or whomever.
Love: I care.