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Jason Toews and fifi (the band)

The Place Where Trains Go to Die, June 2014


When Matthew Christopher announces a new workshop, the sequence of my reactions is something like the following:

  1. “Hey, that looks interesting!”
  2. “Wow, I can just click this handy PayPal button to sign up! Done and done!”
  3. “I should probably check MapQuest to see how long it will take me to get to this place…”
  4. “…oh crap.”

Astute readers will have already identified the fatal flaw in the above: Namely, items 2 and 3 should be reversed, thereby avoiding item 4 altogether. But if did things in a way that made sense, I would have very little to write about. Comedy is tragedy remembered, amirite?

Thus, after a nine hour drive, I found myself in the dense greenery of [compass direction redacted] [name of state redacted]. In the residential zone of a small town, up a dirt road, through a (usually) locked gate festooned with No Trespassing signs, and into The Place Where Trains Go to Die. (Also: trolleys and subway cars.)

Then another nine hour drive home. Good Lord.

Still, the unique beauty of the site (not to mention a brief visit with Matthew and other friends from previous workshops) outweighed the slight inconvenience of eighteen goddamn hours in the car.

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