Thursday, September 5, 2013

Train ride

Like every New Yorker on this train, I spent more than half of the time with my nose sticked to the window, mesmerized by the view of corn fields and apple trees, snapping mental pictures titled pretty, pretty, ..., pretty again. Just as I type, I lift my eyes as if not to lose anything, though every wood is the same, and so the houses, dots marking probably a road. But it's the beginning of autumn, and the green is less overwhelming,  stained now  by reds and yellows, and browns. I don't know why I like trains. It's probably because they remind me of my childhood. Romanian trains were, back then, long nightmares, frozen on the inside in the winer, and wet with sweat and steam in the summer. People would travel on the outside steps, and some of them would not make it to the destination, especially during the Christmas travels. The restrooms were never washed, and the smell, a combination of sausages,    bodily odors and shit, was so specific that one would recognize the place blindly. Or maybe because there is a paradoxical feeling that nothing can happen, that life stays still (you are, after all, moving.) Or, perhaps, because every new departure is a new beginning. You will come back, even if only faintly, changed. But that's not what I wanted to say. I have Mr. Hitchens' book with me, Arguably  Essays, he titled it, and it's a blessing to critical thinking.  He talks to all of us, regardless of our interests; about why women are not funny, and then about JFK's medical cocktails, and about Lolita, and about wine and wine drinkers, Lincoln and Jefferson, and the Middle East, Sinclair and Wilde, the Ten Commandments, religion and masturbation, without taking a breath, like someone that suffers of verbosity and is afraid of dying before saying it all. Nature and Hitchens interrupted each other, and when it got too tired I took a nap, for nothing is more calming than the movements of the train in motion and the perspective of a new  city awaiting for you, an anticipation  extended over 12 hours.