Friday, June 08, 2007

The Plight of the Onions

I've been wanting to write about this for awhile now, but either keep forgetting or am just persistently lazy (The answer is the latter, which is totally obvious, heh). So probably a month or so ago I noticed a rash of onions just flung across the left shoulder of the 238 interchange. I can't be the only person to have noticed this can I? It's just a small gaggle (would a group of onions be called a gaggle? In my world they are, so that'll have to suffice.) of onion strewn next to the concrete embankments adjacent to the Bart Tracks.

Every time I see them, I get all veklempt, which is strange but not surprising at this point. But it's just sad, because I tend to get really caught up in the story of objects and I've made up several scenarios that explain how they have met their sad fate and in all the scenarios the onions have done nothing to deserve being like so much highway detritus, some of which I've decided to share with you.

Scenario 1: Some onion, I don't know which onion, but I'm guessing it's now the onion closest to the drainage grate, given how fore lorn he looks, tired of being stifled in some burlap sack headed to, I don't know, say Buloxi, decided to stage a jail break with the following speech "I didn't just spend some odd months in a dark damp place to spend the rest of my life in a dark damp place. I want to live. I want to experience the world. Who's with me?" And then a group of them stages a breakout and somehow makes a whole in their bag, only to realize that the world they are now experiencing happens to be a heavily traveled interchange smack dab in the middle of California. The speechifying onion tries to turn him and his cohorts back, but they all make a mass exodus only to truly understand their fate to late.

Scenario 2: The bag stitcher person whose job it was to seal up the onion bags was distracted that day and one bag escaped his line only partially stitched. Said bag had the sad fate of being way back on the truck, the effect of which was something like "(Insert sound of bag of chips opening) dr-drop-drop-dr-dr-dr-dr-drop-dr-drop-drop-dr-dr-dr-dr-drop rollllllllll" All while speeding cars happen to be passing overhead.

Scenario 3: "Run free my oniony compatriots, run free. Oh dude, you're in the middle of a freeway. Don't Run Free. Come back. Oh. Dude. My bad. Sorry."

All these scenarios PLUS having the sad misfortune of spotting them on my commute everyday coming back from work just make me all sad. I mean, not only is their story sad, but now, a month after it happened, nothing, except them slowly rotting, has happened to them! The weird street cleaning vehicle hasn't been buy to either pick them up like so much wasted highway garbage, or it hasn't been by to mangle them even more (so I guess that happens to be a mixed blessing). Caltrans hasn't been buy to assess (oniony) damages yet. Nothing. Just the onions. Sitting there. They are all just hanging out on the embankment, in various states of decay, looking forelorning at the passers-by, lamenting what could've been.

I've wanted for some time now to take a picture of them so there would be a face to this atrocity, but sadly my camera phone has left me hanging. But if you ever take the 238 East interchange on the way to 580, look for them, right about at the Castro Valley Bart Station, right at the crease where the road meets those big concrete pillar embankment things (those things have a name don't they? I should probably look it up shouldn't I?). Not a one of them has moved since they originally fell there, all in various huddled groups. It's just horrible. I mean, they could've been on top of someone's burger by now, or in a salad, on some vegetable stand and purchased already, but noooooo. They have to live out the remainder of their days on an interchange embankment. Not even on a self-respecting highway shoulder, an interchange. It's just more than I can handle sometimes....

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