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Bound for Glory
SSar's Beast
I just made my last trip on the Northerner. I am going to miss the night train. The first time I took it was with my Year 8 class at Auckland Normal Intermediate, and no one got any sleep because of the people who went hyper with lollies and lolly wrappers.

This time, the last time I'll ever take it, we discovered that because it hadn't been able to reach the Wellington station on a previous journey, preventing it from turning around, it had made the whole journey up to Auckland backwards, and on its return to Wellington would go backwards again. So Tania-the-mad-design-student and Mark-the-North-Island-travelling-ski-guy and I hogged the observation seats so as to face forwards, stretch, and see fireworks.

I slept and missed the drunk guy who came in reeking of weed, who not only started to smoke some more but tried to urinate in one of the empty seats. I watched as, after they shoved him off the train in Palmerston North (his actual destination - they showed some forbearance) he climbed into the driver's carriage of the just-starting-to-move-again train. The train stopped. He was shoved (more literally) out and wandered off swearing. Some people.

Um, here, cutesy tribute to the Train That Will Not Return. Also on WW. *shrugs*

Short train, old train,
Running-out-of-gold train,
Paint flaking like money from your dull drab side.
Four hundred miles on the Northerner ride.
Twelve hours, long hours, seem to seep...
Soon it seems there's nothing for the passengers to do but
Sleep, train, sleep.

Dark train, bright train,
In-the-full-moonlight train.
Hills gleam clear and gray as if with smooth new snow.
Full moon sharpens everything below,
Points our Southern way by rising left and steep;
A blink, and it swings right to show me morning: so I did
Sleep, train, sleep.

Not-a freight train,
Always-running-late train;
Backwards from the station under fireworks it runs
Someone shoots one at us as the Night Train comes;
Made welcome aboard but not abroad, we sweep
Onwards from the city; nothing other to disturb us from our
Sleep, train, sleep.

High train, low train,
Way-I-always-go train;
Writing cards to friends from the city I've just left,
Cloak my rug and pillow, every time I grow more deft;
I touch my feet to the heater grill. I'm glad that it's been cheap,
And saved me time; one final time I soothe my mind to
Sleep, train, sleep.

North train, south train,
Hear-by-word-of-mouth, train
That they'll close you down by the end of the week:
To the shuddering window, I press my cheek.
South in Autumn, North in Spring, you took me each leap
To freedom, and to home, and far we've gone together, train, now
Sleep, train, sleep.

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I don't mean to be intrusive but you know when it is 3am, you're at the Unicomm computers and you're just fascinated by what other people have been up to before you?

That happened a few weeks ago, and I stumbled on your journal. Anna 401. I live(d) with Sarah.. Just seeking permission to read your journal on a regular basis, indulge my voyeuristic (hmm, new word?) tendancies. Comment back or something.. I hope the weather is nice in Auckland cos I have to invade that city tomorrow evening. :)

Heh. *blinks* You're very welcome to. I feel the same. Actually, I have to admit: I was the one who left the "remember to log off" message on YOUR LJ. Welcome to Auckland, if you get this after you arrive there - which would be Saturday, I expect? :) It's going to be humid here, I can practically guarantee...


It seems gargantuan space monkeys are systematically eating your posts.

I can only infer this one will be next.

In order to thwart this, I'm going to post something so indigestible, the space monkeys will cease.

I call it 'A Voyage Between My Bathtubs':

Where to begin? Prehaps like David Copperfield. I was, like most people, born. (I do not have time to discuss the vagaries of the creation of the rest of you.) I had a happy childhood, up until the age of two months, when I was inadvertently sold in a garage sale, along with a used curling iron, the Swedish Air Force (which I must confess, I have no idea how my parents came into possession of), a bell collection (genuine “Ding-a-Ling™”), and the bathtub from my then-recently deceased grandparents home. Despite my parents swiftly retrieving me, I was subject for the next fifteen years to the whims of jurisprudence, as my accidental purchaser tried to establish claim to my person. Finally, after the final, unappealable ruling that I was in equal measure the property of my purchaser and my parents, I left home to evade the remedies of the law, which I must concede held the wisdom of Solomon. That is, I was to be cleaved into two, and divided between the two contesting parties.

Following my departure, I commenced on the very real problem of providing for my continued sojourn on the Earth. Resolving to exploit the one real talent I had exhibited over the years, I advertised myself as a surprise witness in courts of law. I was most successful in this field, and each appearance I made was uniformly held to be more surprising than the last. My services became hotly contested over by shysters the globe over. Therefore, it goes without saying that I rapidly accumulated an ample reserve of funds at my Swiss bank, and I saw a great deal of the world in doing so.

It was at this time that I found my one and only great romance. My beloved and I were blissfully happy (and I am sorry to say that we did not wait for wedlock to consummate our union), until the bartender sold her, and banned me from his premises. In doing so, he cited the drop in play on the pool table after I had befouled it with my unholy acts.
Missing her green velvet surface, and her slight tilt to the east, I embarked on a slow process of self-destruction. Drugs, alcohol, drugs, sex, drugs, gynecologists, drugs and drugs. But what truly destroyed me in the end were the drugs. Finally, I came to my senses when I found myself stripped naked, painted purple and tied by one leg to the top of a flagpole in Bolivia.

Being cited a little-known law, I was seized as property of the Bolivian Government. While it indeed may seem truly strange that Bolivia seizes purple leprechauns hanging from any flagpole in their country (I had entered the country registered as a leprechaun for tax purposes), it can be easily explained when you consider that their greatest hero had been martyred in that very position, and anyone who found themself like that was assumed to be his reincarnation, and must therefore take his office.

And so, I became Lord High Admiral of the Grand Navy of Bolivia. A surprisingly irrelevant position. And the fact that Bolivia is totally landlocked is the smallest of the reasons for it’s irrelevancy. A far more important reason is that there is no Grand Navy of Bolivia.

That was fifty-four years ago. I am old now, and will shortly stub my toe kicking the bucket. Under threat of violence, I have spent the last fifty-four years organizing battles between vast fleets of rubber ducks in my bathtub. In fact, for the last seven years, I haven’t bothered to wear clothes.

Oh, turgid sea! Oh, malshapen dirigible! Oh, discredited lobster! The voyage between my bathtubs is over!

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