Returning Home

I watched “Air Force One” and thought it was entertaining in a foolish way. I watched the first hour of “The Untouchables.” I then watched “The Three Musketeers.” It had a good cast with Michael York, Raquel Welch, and Oliver Reed. I awoke early and packed my bags. My mother was asleep, and so before I left, I looked at her for perhaps the last time. My train was set to leave at 7:57. It was quite a cold morning. I took my seat and sent out messages. I bought a chicken sandwich at the Subway store in Union Station. It cost eight dollars. The bus to Bakersfield was full of people. I fell asleep. The people sitting near the driver talked to him too much. That was distracted driving. I learned the news of the deaths of Dave Henderson and Haskell Wexler. We arrived in Bakersfield 19 minutes before the train was set to depart. I thought about running inside the station to go to a vending machine and buying something to drink. Instead, I headed to the back to find a quiet place to sit down. My left foot was hurting inside my new pair of shoes. A mother with a baby sat nearby and said “Stop,” “Stop it,” and “No” to the child for hours. I wondered what kind of a vocabulary the kid would end up with from having a mother who had nothing to say. She asked me to switch seats with her, but I refused because I was using the outlet next to me. Besides, she was taking up an extra seat with her baby junk. I discovered that the WiFi connection was weak at the back cars of the train but got stronger as I walked towards the café car to buy a BART ticket. I should have spent some time reading my book, but that mother and baby were distracting. I was so very glad when she got off the train at Stockton. I tried to listen to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times with the weak Internet connection. He played live tracks from Van Morrison and Otis Redding, including “Warm Love” and “Try a Little Tenderness.” The train seemed to take forever to get to Richmond. That was where I got off, and I hurried to the BART platform. I sat in the front car, across the way from a young person who was on his smartphone talking about the details of his life. Is everybody giving a play-by-play account of their lives over their phones? I know that I don’t want to know that much detail. I got home at 8:20 and discovered no mail in my mailbox. Well, I guess that I missed only two delivery days. I went out to buy a shish kebab sandwich and onion rings and sat down to watch the end of the Columbo episode “Mind Over Mayhem” with Jose Ferrer. This was one where Columbo got his man through tactics rather than evidence and reasoning. I wanted to watch “Bound for Glory” but was too tired at this point. I had a long day of work waiting for me in the morning. I heard the news that the Panthers had lost a game against the Falcons. I didn’t picture the Panthers as an undefeated team. Some of the people who died on December 28 include Maurice Ravel (1937), Theodore Dreiser (1945), Paul Hindemith (1963), Max Steiner (1971), William Demarest (1983), Dennis Wilson (1983), Sam Peckinpah (1984), John D. MacDonald (1986), Clayton Moore (1999), Jerry Orbach (2004), and Susan Sontag (2004). Today is a birthday for Gayle King (61), Denzel Washington (61), Maggie Smith (81), Nichelle Nichols (83), and Stan Lee (93).

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