Aboard the Grief Train

Aboard the Grief Train


This being a true account of my journey on the Grief Train, not to be confused with the Gravy Train which is actually a boat — but I digress; to get back on track with the Grief Train, a treacherous journey across suspension bridges of disbelief and barren prairies of purgatory, mountain passes between Heaven and Hell and sheer drops to Oblivion.

A word or two about the passengers. Several of them are firm believers who firmly believe they will be reunited with their “loved ones” in Heaven, that their soulmates, companions, spouses, spice, merely went to a wondrous place ahead of them, a vacation to end all vacations, whereto they will follow when the time comes and they will live happily ever after forever and ever, ah men, and women who believe — not that there’s anything wrong with that, ha-ha, in fact everything is right with it if you rightly believe, but to which I, a tad too bitterly, tell them they have no right to be on the Grief Train which is for hopeless cases who do not believe in Heaven and the Trinity of the Father dead of cancer at fifty and the Son a suicide at twenty-three and the Holy Spirit of 80-proof whiskey in the Godhead of slow death who know they will never be reunited with their loved ones and are firmly in the grip of unadulterated raw grief that clearly warrants a ticket on the goddamn Grief Train.

And now we come to the conductors on the train. I can only speak for myself and in the case of Myself vs. The State of New York and the Kingdom of Heaven, a few stand out as standing by me, and as Fate would have it, they are as far flung as can be, namely, or rather initially, E in Michigan, sister of lost soulmate, J in Canada, K in Florida, K in Australia, B in Niagara Falls, and R in the Carolinas, the latter, alas, abandoned me and rightly so as a hopeless case of unbelief and self-inflicted emotional pain. Of the others, K in Florida is a fervent believer in God and Jesus and Heaven and Hell, while J in Canada is a firm believer in the Here & Now, and Grass not God on High, and the Animals of the Earth who also don’t go to Heaven.

That’s about the extent of it, from Sydney to New York, the boundaries of my existence on the Earth, on many planes and trains before I boarded the Goddamned Grief Train. (I have gone full circle, how do you like dem apples, Mr. Editor!)

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