The Umbrella Man Watches

Every mornin’, I get up, I shave, get dressed, and make my way down to the train. I try to time it as closely as I can so that I’m not wastin’ no time on the platform, but the train gets there late sometime. You see, the platform is where all the trouble is gonna happen if there’s gonna be some. That don’t mean there has to be. Most folks mind their own business. They don’t got not time for a man holdin’ an old umbrella. Sure, they got themselves busy lives. But I watch them. Not in a bad way, but just maybe payin’ attention a little more closely than other folks do.

So, you know, you ride in a railroad train long enough you get to know faces. Some people, they commute every day, but others just take the train when they got a problem with their car or somethin’. Still others, well, they go down to the train station just because they’s drawn to the folks standin’ around on the platform, and those is the ones you got to watch. Continue reading “The Umbrella Man Watches”

A Tuesday Tragedy

This will make you sad, but that’s alright. If you never feel sad, it will be damn near impossible to ever know when you’re happy.

Earlier today my train was cancelled because an earlier train struck a car that was just sitting on the tracks. The women who was driving that car got out, so that’s not the part that you’ll find sad. She didn’t panic, so she got out and she lived. But it reminded me of this one time when someone didn’t. This is your last chance to bail from this post with your heart in tact. Continue reading “A Tuesday Tragedy”

El Pistolero

Consider the timeless and romantic figure of the pistolero. Striking in no manner, other than his poverty, he appears at the edge of town leading the haggard old mule that bears his few meager possessions. Ragged pantaloons, a bloodstained, dirty shirt that hangs on his bony frame, and boots that leave nail marks in the hardpan. He has no rig for his gun, so he tucks it into the rope that serves as his belt.

His weapon is simple in design, but it’s accurate, oiled, and balanced. Some of the men in town speculate that the chambers of the large-bore revolver might be empty, based on the stranger’s disheveled, worn appearance—after all, how does a man live past his thirtieth year and have so little to show—but they aren’t making any serious bets on the number of rounds in his gun. Besides, there’s no law against living a life of destitution—or even being beaten down by life, love, and the elements. The pistolero swiftly fades from the consciousness of anyone who has even bothered to notice him in the first place. Continue reading “El Pistolero”