I hate that train


I'm officially a real Caltrain rider! Check me out: I have bought my very first 10 ride ticket today. This is a major commitment, let me tell you. Almost as big as that 6 month contract I signed with Velocity Sports.

Because I'm exiting the train at San Carlos, I'm limited to what trains I can take north. Limited in the sense that I don't want to stand around picking my nose at VS, and I doubt they really want me setting up shop in their office by arriving an hour early every day. Of course, it might be they don't care at all, but that would change my story.

The train at Sunnyvale (Sunnyvale being yet another limiting factor in this whole train thing) that I take is preceded by another train by five minutes. This preceding train is an express train that doesn't stop at Sunnyvale, but rather flies by at an uncomfortable speed on its way to Mountain View.

I hate that train.

That train rolls by, without slowing, at a blurred speed, a rush of air ahead of it that swirls everything in its path into a tangled bird's nest mess. I don't mind that so much as the large objects zooming by me, not much but 10 feet of air between me and it. And that makes me nervous.

Many years ago, maybe twenty or so, I was on a road trip with my family: my mom, my brothers, an aunt, her children, my best friend, her sister and her father. We stopped by some canyon in Arizona, it might have been a shallow part of the Grand Canyon, but I don't think it was. My cousin, who was five, maybe six years older than I, jumped the railing, walked out to the edge of the canyon, and sat down. After what seemed like a long time, he came back, and we all piled into the cars and continued driving. My cousin later talked about the experience with my mom. I overhead his commenting that the song of the canyon was great, and the urge to jump was surprisingly strong.

Oddly enough, I think of this memory when the train comes flying by. I often wonder if the fear of being struck by that train is as strong as my cousin's urge to jump.