Trams were never and will never be existent in my country, Philippines. That’s what I thought until I’ve seen a video about how beautiful Manila was during the 1900’s. They were once ALIVE!!!!!! Waaaaah! I seriously didn’t know that. As far as I can remember, neither one of my SIBIKA teacher, my Araling Panlipunan teacher nor my Philippine History teacher did ever mention that. I swear!!!!! Anyway, let’s go back to Trams… I find this PUV very cool. It’s like a train…routing the streets. Well, it really is. Haha! I googled about it’s precious existence in Manila and I found out that they were destroyed during the World War II, and they weren’t re-established after. Awwww.. Sad! I think Trams would be a better PUV. It can load passengers as much as buses can (more or less) but it’s definitely safer - lesser accidents since it has its own pathway to track. And I also find jeepneys very non-environment friendly - air pollution and noise pollution!!! Ugggh! And some of them seemed to be operational since 1970’s. They have to be junked already. How I wish TRAMS were still alive here in the Philippines!!! Fine, I’ll add this in my bucket list - Ride a Tramcar in London! Talagang sa London pa eh! Haha!
So in my home town we got this city game. Its called “šalinění” (uhh…lets call it tramcaring in english) there is about 100 players and the goal is to take as many public transport vehicles as possible in three hours. The game starts in special tram-car or train where players learn bonus stops and then it takes them to the starting stop somewhere in the city. THEN EVERYONE RUNS
I’m on the trip of a lifetime, right? I mean, how many people get to have “Parallel Universe” stamped on their passport? I should be hitting the museums, snapping selfies, and stuffing my face with Earth-Two delicacies. But it’s hard to enjoy a trip when you’ve just witnessed the violent death of your evil doppelganger and saw your best friend kidnapped by a maniacal speedster who makes Heath Ledger’s Joker look like Santa Clause.
After the tragic showdown, Earth-Two Iris (aka Mrs. West-Allen?!) deposited me at the nearest aerial tramway station and zipped away to CCPD. As I let the crowd shuffle me onto the next tramcar (I was still reeling), I couldn’t help but geek out over the nuclear fusion-powered metro with touchscreen sliding glass doors. I must’ve been shaking something fierce though, because a pregnant lady offered me her seat. As soon as I sat down, everything hit me all at once. Barry – kidnapped. Joe – murdered. Caitlin – evil. Ronnie – dead (again - that guy can’t catch a break on any Earth!). Where did Zoom take Barry? Is he locked in a cage like Jesse? Is he being tortured mercilessly? But, most important, how the hell do I find him? Without The Flash, it’s just me and Harry taking on the topsy-turvy world of Earth-Two. Even if we did find Barry, how could we possibly defeat Zoom? I mean, I’m still a newbie at vibing, nothing like my power-hungry doppelganger, Reverb! Despite the man bun and predilection for blasting people, I didn’t want him to get murdered. No one deserves that. What about his family? Did he have a girlfriend? Did he have a little Fido scratching at the door, waiting to be taken on a walk? My musing on Reverb’s domestic life gave me an idea: maybe if I channeled his cranial kung-fu powers, Harry and I might stand a chance rescuing Barry and Jesse on our own!
The tram filled up pretty fast. Normally, I’m a bit claustrophobic, but this time I was grateful for the close press of human bodies because it offered a shield to hide my attempts at test-driving Reverb’s skills. There was an empty Coke bottle on the floor (a classic on any Earth) and I focused all my brain power and tried to move it. After ten solid minutes of glaring (I think I popped some blood vessels in my eyes from how hard I was straining!), I gave up. Images of Barry just kept flashing in my head and my stomach was churning with fear. How can I possibly hope to manipulate energy forces if my limbic system is flooding my brain with all the feelings??
I got so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t even notice that I had circumnavigated the entirety of Central City three times. That was precious time to find Barry, wasted! As much of a pain as he is, I knew I had to get back to Harry and fill him in. Oh, frak. Me and Harry… he might kill me before Zoom does the job for him. Time for some Pranayana – so glad I took that yoga class a few months ago! Breathe in, breathe out. This is kinda like “Star Wars: A New Hope” when Luke has to learn to rely on his own instincts and refine his mastery of the force once Obi-Wan peaces out. If Luke can do it, so can I! All hope is not lost. We got this. I think.
Driving through back roads, you see many different houses of all different colours and yet they all look the same. In fact, they look the same as the last town, as well. You know you’ve seen that house with the cement stoop and a lighthouse lawn decoration near the boulder before, but you can’t remember where or when. And, though this is your first time being here, the sense of nostalgia catches you when stopped at a red light you couldn’t manage to beat - overwhelms you, swallows you whole .
It’s that beige Oldsmobile again. It’s motor roars and coughs something that sounds like your uncle after his third cigarette of the evening.
The name Jim Gardner brings a face to the front of your mind, and it is more familiar to you than your own reflection. His image speaks to you sometimes, but you can never manage to remember what he says.
When meeting someone from North Jersey, they speak to you about nothing except for bagels and something called “taylor ham”. You try to understand them, but every time you ask a question, the door they neglected to hold open for you slams in your face.
In Wildwood, you hear a distant voice calling “Watch the tramcar please.” You turn and face the tramcar. It’s stopped. There are no occupants save for the voice that calls from behind the headlights repeating the words “Watch the tr- Watch the- Watch-”. It’s watching you.
There is always traffic along the Schuylkill. You find this strange because you’ve never once driven by the Schuylkill. The Schuylkill hides in ponds and lakes, causing accidents and traffic jams as it laughs in the shadows.
When you were young, you would always walk through the woods with your friends. The woods are still there, but now you never visit. The woods miss you. They call out for you with the sounds of crickets and frogs at night.
They always told you when you were a child to hold your breath when passing a grave. Though you’re older now, out of habit, you hold your breath as soon as you see the first gravestone. You must always hold your breath. If not, they will know you’re there.
New Years fireworks go off in the streets. They pop and sizzle for what seems like forever. But there is no fire to light them nearby. There is no one around to see them. It’s the middle of August.
Everyone has been to the Poconos, but no one ever remembers what they do there.