Thursday, January 12, 2006

Far Off, High, Lonesome, Here and Gone

You get no dirty talk today. Mostly ‘cause I’m swamped, and mostly ‘cause I was up til 2 a.m. working on school board stuff and up a little after 6 a.m., and mostly just ‘cause I can’t give you mad, flailing, sweaty sex talk every day, ‘cause then you’d get bored.

So I’ll wax rhapsodic a bit.

Sergei and I watched the PBS show, “Country Boys” last night, the third of the three-part series. Throughout the movie, the filmmaker chose to heighten the desolation of the rural Kentucky community by showing the trains that run through town, blowing their eerie horns, bound for The Big City, loaded down with coal, loaded down with iron ore, loaded down with car parts, loaded down with calm. Long camera shots of trains on skyscraper-trestles above the “holler”, floating single-mindedly above the decaying trailers, over the acres of land too rough to farm, over the boys who want to leave and yet are tied by their own self-applicated disasters. The train would sound the horn…brooooooooooooop...brrrrooooooooooppppp…and it would disappear, around the bend, around the mountain, leaving behind a trail of steam and a low moan of …ooooopppp….

I woke up this morning to the sound of the train that passes through our town. Too early. Before alarms are woken to awake. While the dark was still sleeping. My slumber interrupted by the faint rumble of steel wheels on steel tracks, and heavy cars bounce-bouncing to the rhythm of mis-aligned rails. And then, the high, distant brooooooop….brrrroooooooppppp…a tinkle at first, louder as the engine approached, then Doppler would Effect and the sound would deepen, like a rough cold in the metal. Brrrooooooooooooooooooppp.

It made me feel safe. Snuggled in my bed. Knowing that while industry moved and food sped to hungry people and the car factory could keep open at least one more week, I could still close my eyes and allow my naked body to be enveloped by the sleep-heat from my dreaming husband. And everything would run. And the engine, humming it’s hello, and then goodbye, was a friend dropping off a missing glove with their van engine running and cranky kids in the back seat…”Hi! Here you go! See ya!” Job done. On to the next station.

Did the Kentucky boys feel the same way I did? Or did the sound of the passing train, the one that didn’t stop in their town, the one that ignored them so completely, just shovel another bucketful of coal into their fire of ‘goddammit, I’ve gotta get OUT of here’.

I dunno.

I do know.

That my train slows down in my town.

And stops to pick up passengers. And freight cars of cars and freight cars of steel parts, and freight cars of things we’re better off not knowing about.

Maybe that’s the difference.

Maybe my lonesome ain't so lonesome.


At 1:12 AM, Blogger Cynical Girl said...

Those Kentucky boys broke my heart.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Marcheline said...

I remember train sounds from when I lived in Pittsburgh, PA. And yes, it's a lonesome sound, but it also makes you feel sort of safe - like there's a way out if you really needed one.

- M


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