In the caboose of the Amtrak train stood a strange pair of individuals: a blond-haired lady, likely in her late sixties, leaned on a railing across from the spitting image of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. The older woman, struggling to hide her discomfort, awkwardly moved to sit next to the man in an attempt to continue their dwindling conversation. The wide-eyed twenty-something grasped a duct-taped cardboard box tightly to his chest, trying — failing — to hide it beneath his windbreaker. Perplex’d in the extreme, I approached the train car, hoping to figure out what the hell was going on.
The southbound train would depart from San Jose in half an hour. I stood by the doorway of the caboose, out of sight of the two. I listened in on their conversation:
“Look, lady. We’ve already been over this. I’m voting for Bernie Sanders, end of story,” the gentleman firmly stated.
The woman replied, “Well, alright. I just really want to understand more of what your generation is all about. We’re both headed to the same festival, right? The least we could do is stick together.”
“I guess you’re right,” the young man responded. “Is this gonna be your first time at Coachella?”
“Yes, actually. Well, my husband Bill and I went to Woodstock when we lived in New York. But that was a long time ago. I’m sure things have changed a lot since then,” she sighed.
“Well, now we’re talking! So you’re trying to have a good time this weekend? I’ve got just the stuff for you!”
The man plopped the box onto the seat next to him, and without hesitating, ripped open the cardboard flaps on top. I stealthily glanced into the train, and what I saw I will never forget. I saw Hillary Clinton nervously handing over a crisp twenty to a sketchy hippie in exchange for a small Ziploc bag of ‘shrooms. Her flower crown rested atop her perfectly dyed hair and her map of the Bay Area sat folded at her feet. That’s when I knew that she would do anything to court the millennial vote, even if it meant going undercover to a druggie music festival in the California desert.