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Under the Overpass

Under the Overpass

“Under the Overpass”
May 14, 2007

Detroit is spider webbed with train trestles, overpasses, tunnels, and all manner of archaic structures built in the early 1900’s for the auto industry. They would hail raw steel across the landscape, thru & over the surrounding neighborhoods on their way in and shiny new black cars on their way out of the factories. I lived in one of the worst ghettos (called River Rouge because the steel plants would dump all their scrap metal into the river they bordered turning it a rusty red) and trains ceaselessly came in and out, Klaxons ringing every time they crossed a street, 24 hours a day, one grew used to the noise and –unfortunately-the danger: To this day even though 90% of the factories are closed and the trains have nearly ceased their campaigns of brutal noise and danger, kids die or are mangled into hamburger trying to jump the chugging behemoths, I flattened many a penny on those tracks and personally knew 2 kids that lost limbs to childish bravado. A few years ago I was returning from Chicago via a train and had the fortune to sit next to an old man they called “Conductor Death” he was a frail old whiskered man who claimed to have killed 38 people during his career as a conductor, “But,” he always added “I never left the tracks once to do it.”


[Editor's note: This piece sold on James' eBay store.]