08 June 2017

Trying to Maintain [1980]


[Journal passage, 8 June 1980]
I
’m writing this while waiting at the Pomona train station. The train was due at six-forty-five but it won’t be in (of course) until eight-thirty. I’ve been amusing myself by reading the baggage restrictions (no pets, typewriters, radios, cameras, inflammable liquids, records, tapes, record players, television sets, transmitters, guns, bombs, priceless antiques, coins, artefacts of value, tape recorders, video players, motion picture projectors, internal combustion engines, motor-cycles, bicycles, unicycles, epicycles, shopping carts, time-machines, space-warp engines, dead sea scrolls, or itinerant peddlers—sometimes I wonder just how one is supposed to transport one’s goods. (Unlike the bus restrictions, however, Amtrak will carry musical instruments if suitably cased—though not (to judge by the other restrictions) electronic musical instruments.)
Ah, well—onward I guess. Time marshes on and it’s almost eight o’clock. A sign across the street—Modoc Sheet Metal Sales—reminds me [of] my Modoc MS. I haven’t had time this semester to get any further with it, but I’m hoping to have time this summer to get it finished and out.
Let’s see if I can write. Yeah, I guess I can, if I go slowly. For some reason my arms hurt like hell and I feel like I was trying to lift against about three gees. Further, I seem to be on a train to Portland I guess—at least a guy just took my ticket without comment—but I don’t have the slightest idea just how I got here. A little bit ago I was on a quite different train to LA—yeah, and I remember arriving at Pasadena, and then somewhere in there I suddenly realized I was on a quite different train with quite different people and my arms hurt. Also my back. I’m trying to maintain, but I wonder if I’m losing my reason. Or—could this be a dream? It seems real enough—a little too real—but then so do most dreams. God, I hate to think that I’m about to hear that goddamn alarm go off and have to get up and go. I hope this is real. I’d rather have it be real than have to do it over.

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