It was New Years Eve.

I had been on the Amtrak for approximately 124 hours. I was somewhere in Kansas I think. That’s when I realized there was a party goin on in the observation car. So I got up outta my seat and left the kid that I was sittin next to, this twenty-year old kid that was studying economics at Cornell and teaching me everything there was to know about the railroad industry, and somewhere around 1AM I mosey on over to the observation car.

I wobble my way through three cars full of sleeping passengers and push the black button that opens the door to the observation car and walk in PLAOW.  Party.

So sitting at a table next to these swivel chairs that overlook the floor-to-ceiling glass windows are some thug-lookin dudes playin cards and drinkin brandy.  Adjacent from them are some hippies from Norcal with stringy hair strummin the guitar screamin all drunk like some shitty song they wrote probably somewhere in the cornfields of Indiana.  Then these Asian tourists are at another table laughin their heads off in Chinese and then there was this drunk dude making really bad decisions on the phone. He was pretty damn drunk. And his decisions were pretty damn bad.  I think I heard him say

“Ah nuvr gon talk t’yu kill yer goddam head you bitch–”

Which made no sense really, and then he stared at his phone and realized he was talkin to no one.

Then he dialed again.

So I sat down and listened to that drunk dude for like an hour tell someone, assumably someone he loved, all these crazy sociopathic one line zingers that one might say on a drunken New Years Eve night.  He was all gross and slurring his words and shit and he kept talkin and then realizing the person had hung up on him then re-dialing and saying the same shit he did a couple minutes before he realized he wasn’t talkin to anybody and I just kept wonderin… How’s this dude even on this train? He looks like he graduated from homeless to some other form of lost and how did he even have a phone and whose number could he possibly have?  I dunno… Whatever.

So we were like a hundred miles outsidea Wichita when–

Wait.

Who’s that?

There was this chick. She was all alone. She was pretty hot, not super hot, but pretty hot. She had this trashy red hair and looked like she mighta been from Bakersfield or some shit (no disrespect). Anyway I was talking myself into goin and sayin wuttup to her- she was readin some magazine and I think eyein me from the reflection of the glass window, either that or trollin the drunk dude like I was, tryinga figure out his life probably the way he was when alla sudden some other chick sat right down next to me.

It was the chick that had asked me for a cigarette about ten hours earlier in Charleston WV. Charleston? I can’t remember. Anyway she asked me for a cig and I had only three left so I said no and she said all good and then I said if you can’t find ANYTHING I’ll give you one but secretly I was hoping to God she didn’t actually ask me for one.

Anyway she sat next to me and she says

Y’whan some mUShrOOOMS?

She was all drunk an shit. And trippin I suppose.

I looked at her and just said

Nah.

Then she started tellin me all about what mushrooms feel like and I didn’t feel like gettin into that whole ‘I know what the fuck mushrooms feel like’ convo so I just listened for a while and kept sayin ‘nah’ every time she forgot she already offered me mushrooms and offered again.

She kept forgettin shit.

All the while I’m like

yo. this bitch is fuckin my shit up with that other chick and now the other chick is like yo that dude is talkin to her?  Fuck him. That’s what she was probably thinkin to herself so I was tryin to get the fuck away from the chick who kept askin me to eat her damn mushrooms.

BITCH I DON’T WANT YOUR FUCKIN MUSHROOMS.

But I didn’t say that. What I said was ‘nah.’

Then she starts tellin me about her drinking problem, tellin me that she’s got a problem. Tellin me she really needs to quit and how her New Years resolution was to get sober. I figured at that point it might be a nice idea to be like yo, I’m sober and u can do that shit if u really want it.

Anyway now I felt like I had to listen to her cause maybe I might be able to help and shit so I stopped thinkin about the other trashy girl with red hair who may not’v been trashy at all.

Then she ran out of drunk shit to say.  I just stayed silent cause I didn’t wanna prolong the convo.  She looked at her imaginary watch which wasn’t there and asks herself out loud when the next smoke break is.  I say yeah- when is it?

Then I start doin the math in my head how far Wichita was and while I’m doin that the chick says to me

‘actually i don’t even smoke, it was just an excuse to talk to you…’

but I TOTALLY wasn’t paying attention. It didn’t even register that she said that and I just replied while lookin into outerspace

“fair enough” but I was just tryin to figure out when we’d arrive in Wichita.

Oh man.

I realized what she said.  Then I looked at her face.  She was bright red and feelin dumb as fuck and I felt bad for not even acknowledging that she was tryin to flirt with me and RIGHT as I’m gearin up to de-awkwardify the situation…

She gets up and runs to the other side of the party car and grabs her hula hoop and starts fuckin hula hoopin for the gansters and Norcal hippies.

So I get up and walk past that drunk dude who’s STILL callin people on his shitty mobile flip phone and in a garggily voice screaming in that whisper type of yell at whoever, and I walk over to that girl that mighta been trashy.

RIGHT as I get to her, she stands up and bumps into me.

Awkward.

Then I was like

yo. I was gonna come sit with you.

And she was like

yeah, uhhh, that guy over there is freakin me out.

and I was like

yeah, that guy is freakin everyone out. and that girl is freakin me out, so I was gonna use you as my scapegoat to break free, but now you’re up and leaving.

And she was like

yeah, I am… Sorry.

Then she walked away and now it’s like 2AM or 3AM or I dunno, but I had to get away from the hula hoop chick but I didn’t wanna just leave the observation car right after the trashy maybe not trashy girl had just left cause then it would look like I was followin her or somethin, so I had to wait till she was at least one car ahead of me before I left and all the while I’m praying this hula hoop chick doesn’t come back.

But she did.

She actually came back with some dress from her bag and changed right in front of me, but not like she got naked, like she slipped it on and slipped her jeans off without bein naked.  So I sat there and was like- this girl is changing in fronta me.

For ONE second I thought- should I cop head from this girl?  Then I snapped back to being an adult.  Then she ran off and got sidetracked again and started hula hoopin again- that’s when I saw my chance to escape.

VROOOMM

I walked right by her didn’t say shit got back to the smart kid from Cornell.  Then she followed me, or maybe it just looked like she followed me, cause she came back to the regular car where I was sittin and I pretended to be sleepin when she walked past me (cause she was only a few seats away from me).

Then I woke up somewhere in New Mexico and realized my head was on that smart kid’s shoulder.

Anyway, that was how I spent New Years Eve 2016 on the Amtrak.

Now I wanna take a lil bitta time to talk about Jailbait.

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