Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A random train of thought in the middle of the night.

I'm just sitting here. Not thinking too much.
Not doing too much.
The house is quiet.
It's dark outside. 
I can hear a lone dog barking, only suddenly go silent, then suddenly start up barking again, perhaps chatting with the neighbors dog, about the moon, or some strange smell he caught on the wind, or perhaps planning some escapade with his friends once he gets off his chain. 
The moths are trolling outside my window trying to get in. I think they know their days are numbered, and are trying to prolong the inevitable.  I look at them, and smile, happy that they are outside, and can't get in. I'm happy that I am in, and they are out.
Happy that soon they will freeze, and they will no longer torment me.

I know it's late. It's my bedtime. What is my bedtime you ask? Well, it's when I feel tired. 

I am tired. My eyes are droopy. But still something nocturnal keeps me clinging to wakefulness. Something that makes me want to linger longer, and sift through random books, facebooks, random bits of paper I have littering my desk, I search through the fridge, delve into the pantry, looking, searching, hunting, for what?

I don't know. Maybe I'm looking for sleep. Or looking to avoid it. I don't know which. Why is it so hard to go to bed? And why is it so hard to wake?
Maybe its the transition that is hard. Maybe deep down, I like to keep going on the track I'm on, whatever track it is, and switching gears just doesn't come easy for me.
Brush my teeth?
Get into my pajamas? 
That is hard. Very hard.
Oh, unloading that truck full of wood, wrestling a goat, folding stinky, dirty, silage tarps, that was easy. That was day.
But bed. 
Oh that's hard. That's changing tracks.
Tracks. Yes. There are many, especially along my road.
A train hoots six times as it rumbles past my house, shaking my room, and waking up all the light sleepers in the neighborhood.  But, maybe there are no light sleepers. Maybe everyone but me is used to the noise. Maybe I am the only soul along this road who has thought mean and nasty thoughts about the iron beast that wakes me up. Our house is not so terribly close to the tracks. Not like the hotels, and houses that were built practically on the railroad itself years ago. 
Thankfully not. But my house is close enough to the tracks. Too close.
In the daytime, I hardly notice that the trains exist. But when night comes, it's a different story. I will be sound asleep in my bed, when suddenly one comes, and lo, it doesn't cometh quietly, nor does it use stealth in the dead of night. No.
It surges on, rumbling like a tsunami, blaring the matrix theme song on its morbid horn, sometimes honking twelve or more times, depending on what kind of demon is at the helm. Sometimes there are mild toot, toots, or kinder ice cream truck blurbs, other times, there are dramatic phantom of the opera, Na, Naa, naaa, naaaa, NAaa, Na Naaaa's.  

Who chooses these horns, I cannot say? Why some honk incessantly and others just a few? I cannot say either. Only one thing I know for certain, that these nameless souls, these conductors of a thankless job, pass by us too fast to talk, to be seen, yet deeply yearn to be heard. They desperately want the world to know they exist, that they are awake while we slumber. Like a wild coyote they call out to the lonely pack, and the dogs in the neighborhood howl in return.
I know I yowl plenty of times too, especially when my window is open, and the horn slices the night in a thousand tiny shards, honking more than a dozen times, yanking me out of my sleep. Oftentimes my bed shakes as the train passes. Is it a an earthquake? No.

 It sounds as if the train is coming right through my room. I groan, then my sister groans, and then, in my half-wakeness, half-sleepness, I utter exclamations and curses upon the vial train, like I was some sorceress that could cast a spell upon the entire railroad company and turn their trains into silent puffs of smoke.  It always amazes me that I can utter so much, and can complain so much, and still be somewhat asleep. 
           Then, as it passes we both fall back asleep, and the room grows quiet again. Then fifteen or twenty minutes later, it comes again. Even before I hear its horn, I shoot up, and slam the window down.
The sound of the train is still there, but the closed glass masks the churning, bubbling, brew of steel, horn, steam, smoke, fire, engine, wheels, and speed, just enough to smooth out all the hard edges that prod me from my slumber.
Trains. How did they get here I wonder? All that track, all that train? All those miles? Who put them there? People? I did not see it happen. But it is here. And it got here somehow, like electricity, like computers, like the internet, like cars, and roads, and telephone poles.

Like magic, it was here before I was. It happened. I did not see it. We are the benefactors of a time before, we inherit what we did not plant, what I can hardly comprehend, or grasp---phones, coolers, skyscrapers, malls, TVs, even simple things like toasters, and blow-dryers, blow my mind. 
A train I did not grow.
A track I did not help build. 
I did not put it there. And given the chance, I would not try to grow one either.
Especially since now we do not ride in trains anymore. (not the ones by my house, anyway)  I would like them much better if they were more bustling with humanity, with comings and going like before. 
But now, they're always going. Never stopping. And when they do stop its usually to block the road because they've run out of fuel, or their load is to heavy for their engine. 

I had no intention of giving them so much attention in this post. But one went past the house, and got my attention. And it asked me to write about it. And I said to myself, yes, I will write about you, you noisy pesky thing. You have invaded my thoughts more times than I can count. I might as well put those thoughts to paper. Or...cyber paper.

 The trains run through the land, why not invade cyberspace? Churning, tumbling, rumbling, tooting, hooting they come.
Tonight. Yes. The trains run. Always. They are one of the constants in my life. So many things change, people, friends, even family.
But the trains, they come, always, without even asking for them.
They are always there, constantly running, constantly chugging. If they were to stop chugging, who knows, maybe the clocks would stop, and everything would sound very empty. 
Maybe deep down, I like their sound, in a windblown-sort of way. Like I like the taste of hot sauce, because it has spice. But I won't hesitate to complain and wash out the heat with milk.
The train. It's a sound that reminds me of home, of the house by the tracks, the road that I walk along, and more often than not, cover my ears as the trains surge past, and I feel the ground shake, as something more powerful than I pushes through, then leaves.

The howl of the train reaches even your ears, tonight, subconsciously, in your mind, they honk.
Maybe you know some people who honk too, people who have been planted just outside your house along the road, that came there without you asking, lonely people wanting to be heard, running, always running, moving, chugging, too busy to stop, to afraid to. 
But wanting to be heard, desperately.

What do I learn from them? To fear their power? To submit to their noise? Not to park myself where they might run me over? To accept what I cannot change?
Or to simply plug my ears and shut the window when they come?
I cannot stand in their way.
I can not change them.
Maybe they too are searching for something, like me, going in circles, from one thing to the next, wanting to sleep, but not yet ready to stop. Endlessly, running on their track, unable to switch gears for fear they might fall off. 

Trains, they shake our houses, wake us when we want to be sleeping. They are inevitable. Things that come without you asking.
Things that toot, their own horn, over and over again.
 Maybe all we can do is listen gently for a time, smile, and wave as they pass on by. Then walk on, and remember, it's good to sometimes run out of steam.
Then, we can finally sleep.
And dream.
Then wake up. Renewed. Refueled. Full of life.
Ready to find new tracks, old tracks, and run side by side, slow or fast, opening our doors to life wherever it leads us.

 And I think I will do that too. My steam is all run out.
It's past two in the morning. My eyes are droopier.
My throat is dryer. 
My fingers feel clumsier. 
My brain is feeling clumsy too.
My head feels heavy.
My nocturnal self has prowled around long enough, clunking out all the random thoughts in my head, growling, and yawning, and roaming back and forth on this not so inky page. I have nothing else to say.

Yes...I think....I'm going to...sleep.
But wait....


Translate this blog