Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Night Train

Every sound trains make seems desolate and lonely.

I pulled up to the tracks under the orange glow of the sulphur street lamps. The warning lights blinked like harsh red eyes, and the alarm bells clanged like a funeral knell, only too harried to hold the sublime dignity of a slow toll.

The deep whistle filled my ears with a mournful wail, sweeping over me like rushing water mixed with the thunder and the lightning flashing on the horizon. A rusty screech followed one of the cars like a thin, high, dreary cry. A few drops of rain began to show on my windshield, as the monotonous clatter of the wheels on the rails jarred just off the tempo of the bells.

I sat in the dark filled with a sense of endless, lightless emptiness. I don't know where the train was going, or what it was carrying. Sometimes I've felt like there's a romance in the melancholy, and a gypsy glory to the cars that creak across my path and disappear, only to haunt a blues melody or a rambler's dream.

But tonight the train filled my mind with a gritty, sordid sort of sadness without even a longing for light or joy.

My life isn't like that. Even when I'm down, I can grit my teeth and look up. This isn't a feeling that stays with me. It touches me sometimes, fills my mind, and then winds away as the crossing arms lift and the dream fades.

But what if all my life were like a train in the night? God keep them and bring them to the morning.

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