OF DEATH (AGAIN)
This morning, the MAX train came to a somewhat screeching halt, preceded by much blaring of the horn. Everyone looked around a little bit, eyebrows raised. Nobody said a thing. The train started up again and there was palpable relief. As we passed the stopping point, I could see people sneaking guilty, side-long glances out the window for the cause of the sudden stop. I think nobody wants to be on the train that hits somebody.
I saw some markings on the ground where the sidewalk crosses the tracks at the stop I get on and get off at. It looks like they will be putting in some little gates. I'm not sure how many people have died or been injured by stepping in front of the train but there's been two in the last six months. It's very creepy. There was also a guy with a little hat, a jacket and some type of badge looking all official-like out at my stop the other day handing out little yellow flyers that read "look both ways" in English and Spanish.
I feel sad for the people that have walked in front of the train. After all, if this behemoth symptom of an advancing, consumer-driven culture hadn't moved in to their space then they would never have been hit. Sort of makes you wonder about pre-determined death. I hope I don't get plowed by the MAX train since it sure would be ironic to load up this page one day and see a message from T. that his beloved has been beheaded by the behemoth. The newspaper would probably print an excerpt. I bet I would get a ton of hits.
But, I digress. It pains me that they are having to build extra barriers so that people who should've learned long ago to "look both ways" don't off themselves accidentally (or on purpose, I suppose). I think I'm just against barriers in general. There are those who would argue that we need to save ourselves from ourselves. Most of these people live in Oregon. Oregon is liberal in so far as you are doing what is right and good. Right and good being entirely subjective concepts wherein lies the problem. Because if you're not doing what is right and good on the Soccer Mom's Sliding Scale of Decency then perhaps you ought to be forced into it. Like maybe we should make a law. Or add a sin tax. Or maybe people should only be able to walk, talk and think when the little light turns green and the happy bell goes *ding*. Yeah.
And, speaking of death... how freaky is that whole Payne Stewart thing? I can't even imagine being the wife, mother or daughter of anyone on that plane. Live coverage, natch. It must have been excruciating to watch. And the thought of this mechanical thing flying on silently, a silver tomb in the sky, is just beyond surreal. Auto-pilot. When the world ends this New Year's Eve, will technology carry on silently tabulating ones and zeros, scanning the earth for seismic activity, with planes circling and traffic lights blinking until the whole damn thing runs out of fuel?
The mind boggles.
P.S. I don't actually think the world is going to end on New Year's but what the hell do I know?
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