Taking the San Joaquin

Roberta Gonzales told us that it would be a windy day. I went to the coffee shop for hot chocolate and checked my bank balance. I took my bags and stopped at the office to print out a document. Inside the BART station, I added ten dollars onto my Clipper card and headed to the Richmond station. I finished eating all my strawberries and mango slices as I waited on the platform. The Amtrak train arrived two minutes before I thought it would. The train never quite filled up, although one woman would sit next to me after Fresno. I spent some of the time reading Tolstoy on my Kindle. I questioned whether it was a good edition. The young person sitting behind me spoke too loudly on his phone. I checked Twitter for comments about Shirley Jones’ birthday. I wasted time on the Internet instead of looking at the scenery. I wonder what some people were doing fishing on a Tuesday morning. It was more comfortable on the train than during the holiday season because of all the free room. We were told that we were running late because of two stretches of speed limits. I imagined that it was a hot afternoon outside the train. I wondered how the farmers were managing their water during this severe drought. One of these towns appeared to have plenty of water. I felt like Jack Nicholson in “Chinatown” in making this observation. I ate my chipotle chicken wrap, but choked on it and coughed wildly, alarming the girl sitting in front of me. I noticed that a Planned Parenthood office was near the Bakersfield station. After five and a half hours, I was glad for the chance to go outside, but it was for only long enough to get onto a bus to Union Station. We left seven minutes late. Traffic was light until we approached the San Fernando Valley. Downtown Los Angeles reminds me of “Repo Man.” I saw that the See’s Candies kiosk was gone, although they were still selling the chocolates in the old shop. I walked outside to take photos of myself with the facade in the background. The sun was setting like in the Polanski movie. The end of my trip saw two girls talking about the trivial details of their lives. I did not want to hear about one-way streets and mothers who couldn’t use GPS devices. My father met me at the station. I ate some leftover spaghetti before falling asleep.  Some of the people who died on April 1 include Scott Joplin (1917), Marvin Gaye (1984), Martha Graham (1991), Carrie Snodgress (2004), and John Forsythe (2010).  Today is a birthday for Susan Boyle (54), Jimmy Cliff (67), Ali MacGraw (76), Debbie Reynolds (83), and Jane Powell (86).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 1, “Helter Skelter” had its CBS premiere in 1976.  In 1979, Nickelodeon launched on Warner Cable’s system in Buffalo, New York.  In 2010, John Forsythe died of pneumonia at age 92.

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