So, with only a day left to pack up and move out, and some
early-morning admin work to do at SuSE, I sit here bleary-eyed and try
to make some sense out of the past week or so.
I had agreed to ride sanity with Rick Moen down I-5 (the most
hypnotic stretch of nothing in the whole of California) to attend
LOSCON XXV. Thursday evening I set out from my grass hut in the
Richmond in order to BART over to Dublin, only to find that the whole
damn city was deserted for the holiday. Even the bums were all shored
up in mercy shelters and volunteer dinner huts (which seem to invite
them in based on media potential of a day, rather than the
So, without a single soul on the street, I shuffled beneath
the glowing navy-blue sky to the BART station and hopped aboard. I
was the only one on the train, but there seemed to be several people
at the Dublin station. I phoned Rick and stepped outside the gates,
only to briefly glance over the reciprocating gaze of a scruffy,
He perked up as if to say "Oh, I know you!" and lumbered over
to me. He asked if I had had a good Thanksgiving
"Oh yes." I mumbled.
"Was your turkey this big?" He made a gesture with his hands
indicating the size.
"Something like that."
"My mother wanted me to sleep with her, but that wouldn't be
right--she's not really my mother, but it wouldn't be right, you
His every mumble seemed to demand feedback. He barely let the
breath escape his lips as he talked about his drug addictions and his
incest history. It was only through intense lipreading that I was
able to deduce that the man was barely able to complete a thought,
never mind hold a conversation.
Unfortunately, my instincts had failed me miserably. The
opressive throng at the Dublin station had taken me off-guard, and my
citydweller's nature had deserted me for a moment. I had managed to
position myself with my back up against a wall, and the man was
leaning into my face and jibbering rather psychotically.
"Excuse me, but I have to make a phone call." I informed the
man, directing my eyes at another person in the station. He followed
my gaze, and shifted target instantly. I punched buttons on the phone
for a few minutes, but the damn thing wouldn't accept coins--and that
seemed to be phone company policy. I can't imagine why these phones
were even at the station. They may as well just put a sign up that
says "Phone does not complete outgoing calls. Phone does not accept
Soon, however, Rick Moen arrived with the getaway car, and we
were on our way.
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