Trouble Train

Before I knew it, I was on the road.

Our first performance was a taping of a The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.  We performed a new song off Setzer’s latest album, entitled “Trouble Train”.  It felt so good to be performing again.  I cannot even begin to describe the blessing that my job was – and still is! – especially counting the fact that I needed a creative outlet; something to take my mind off my shattered, hopeless marriage.

In addition, it was refreshing to be genuinely treated well and appreciated by a bunch of good men.  I felt safe, and my self-esteem started to build again.  Furthermore, I simply love being on the road.

After the taping, I headed home to finish packing for my early flight the next morning.  I noticed that I had several new voicemails.

The first was a woman with a hesitant valley-girl accent.  My musician’s ear did not attune to her high-pitched, squeaky voice.
“Hiyyeeeeeeeeeeee, uhhh, I theeeennnk I feeyoounnund your daawwwwg???…”

Oh, no.

The next was a very authoritative man with a deep voice.
“Hello, ma’am.  I am one of the conductors of Amtrak.   I ran into your…dog here at Union Station; please give me a call…”

What the…?

The next was, undoubtedly, a hipster teenager.  I pictured his fedora, oversized black-rimmed glasses and skinny jeans as he mumbled,
“Um, your dog is licking my hand right now.”

Finally – a very kind woman:
“Hello, Leslie, this is [so and so] from the Lacey Street Shelter.  We are holding your dog overnight – apparently he rode the train…?  (Laughs)  Anyway, we open at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow, so you can come get him anytime.”

I hung up the phone and sighed.

My adventurous, friendly and hard-to-tie-down dog, Wimbley, had trotted a few miles south to the Metro in Highland Park, gotten on the train and traveled all the way to Union Station, making several friends along the way.  This would mark the second “trouble train” trip for Wimbley, who, two years earlier, had followed a friend of ours (with the name, “Train”, no joke) along the same route.  When the friend Train/real train left him behind at the station, Wimbley ran after both on the tracks and ended up going home with a woman who lived in Mount Washington.  Thankfully, we found him two days later, via an ad she posted on Craigslist.

Trouble was, I had no way of rescuing Wimbley before my Detroit-bound flight left at 8:00 a.m. the next morning.  I would be gone for six weeks.  I was desperate.  I had already lost two dogs that year, and couldn’t bear the thought of my sweet, only remaining dog being abandoned at the cold kill-shelter.

I immediately called my father-in-law and asked him to bail Wimbley out, but he refused.  He basically told me it was better for my dog to find a new home.

I picked up on the double entendre, and couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  Then again, I wasn’t a stranger to my in-laws’ cruel and thoughtless judgment.

So, I called upon my neighbors, yet again – my amazing, wonderful, loyal and generous neighbors.  I was embarrassed and ashamed that I could not keep my house in order.  I couldn’t tie my husband down, and now I couldn’t even get my own dog to stay at home.

I didn’t sleep much that night.  I flew to Detroit in the morning.

My neighbors rescued Wimbley from the shelter the very next day, first thing in the morning.  His “bail” wasn’t too expensive.  He had received a bath, complimentary flea medicine, a complete veterinary check-up, a microchip, and a gold star for being the friendliest dog in the shelter.  He also got a new name tag, complete with five phone numbers – all neighbors who live on my block.  We all later joked that Wimbley just needed to get to his appointment at the “Day Spa.”

With Wimbley safe and sound, I relaxed, and was able to really start enjoying myself on tour.  I couldn’t help but chuckle at the irony and timing of my dog’s wild adventure.

I also pondered the depth of the message of my boss’ song.  I hoped and prayed that my husband — back in Portugal —  would stay far away from his own “trouble train”.

The trouble train is comin’
It’s been rollin’ through this town
Since I don’t know when —
The trouble train, they call it
And once you’re on it
You just can’t get off it, my friend

Don’t get on that train again
It’s rollin’ and thunderin’
‘Round the bend
If you hear the devil call your name
Don’t get on that trouble train!

The trouble train is comin’
It’s full of troubled souls
Who have gone astray,
The trouble train is burnin’
It’s puffing smoke and fire
And it’s headed your way

Now don’t get on that train again
It’s a long way down
Please listen, my friend!
If you hear the devil call your name
Don’t get on that trouble train.

If the devil’s calling out your name

He’s riding on that trouble train!

The trouble train’s left the station
It’s claimed another soul
It’ll come back again
The trouble train’s damnation
Is a one-way ticket to the fiery end

Don’t get on that train again
It’s a long way down
Please listen, my friend!
If you hear the devil call your name
Don’t get on the trouble train!

One thought on “Trouble Train

  1. Sophi Gilliland says:

    It’s always nice to have a bit of comedic humor in life…..

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