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Penn Station Blues (standard:travel stories, 502 words)
Author: Robert L. RevlandAdded: Sep 14 2000Views/Reads: 3313/1Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Very short story. A young man waits for a train and contemplates his relation ship with his parents.
 



John sat in the quiet station.  Checking the clock, he saw he had plenty
of time before the 8:05 to Ogunquit pulled in.  He was going home. 
Home, he thought.  Home is overrated.  He would come back, dragging his 
guitar and his goatee back to his New England parents.  Then they'd 
chew him out for throwing away his life on writing music and poetry.  
God, he thought.  Why can't they get off my back? 

When he looked at it, it all really made sense to John.  He had gone
over the situation a million times in his head.  Dad was a blue collar 
worker from Northern Maine; he had spent his life working in a 
lumberyard.  He knew nothing but lumber, hardly an academic.  Man, John 
thought, he says I'm wasting my life.  John's mother had been a wealthy 
heiress from Portland.  She inherited her money and married John's dad. 
 What a life, thought John.  Jeez, her biography couldn't cover two 
pages. 

Both John's parents belonged to the Episcopal church.  There was another
issue they had with him.  John had converted to Buddhism soon after he 
moved out in '86.  He said the whole Christian thing just wasn't doing 
it for him and never had.  Now whenever he visited back home, they took 
him to church every opportunity they had.  Thank god I'm not visiting 
over a Sunday, he thought.  God, they say the Baptists are evangelists? 
 Try parenting a Buddhist as strict Christians, any sect, then you'll 
learn all the tricks, he thought, laughing at himself softly. 

Home to New England. 

New England, in John's opinion, was the social and political dump of the
East coast.  White trash capital of America.  Looking for Republicans?  
Come to the great northeast.  Anything north of New York City was 
hell-bent on conservatism in John's mind.  This lead to nasty arguments 
between John's dad, a strict conservative republican, anti-liberal, 
anti-pinko war veteran-type god-fearing dad.  He fit the stereotype 
perfectly.  John, on the other hand, was a hippie-dippie, free love, 
flower child, tree-hugging, long-haired, draft-dodger type of guy (Not 
to mention his dad went to Montreal to evade the Vietnam draft).  Two 
complete opposites, father and son.  The only thing John shared with 
his dad was a telephone service provider.  Some family bond. 

Not to mention, Maine was cold!  It was late April, and the temperature
still dropped into the forties.  John hated the cold.  He was only 
staying a week, but he was bitter about it.  To hell with New England, 
John said to himself, I want to go to Florida. 

Florida was nice this time of year: warm, sunny, cool at night, not too
humid.  Yeah, he thought, I'd like to go to Florida.  Everthing is so 
much nicer there.  Miami.  Girls, beach parties...  Yeah, that was the 
life. 

But John was on his way to New England.  Sitting in Penn Station in New
York, with his guitar and his small bag, John heard the loudspeaker 
announce his train. 

Well, here I go again.


   


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