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Location: Midwest, United States

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Midnight Trains

Yes. I know. “Night trains” or “midnight trains” or “lonesome trains” have long been a staple of country and western singers, rock bands and minstrels for as long as I’ve had ears. Longer. It’s trite, I know. It’s too easy to fabricate imagery of trains traveling to far-off destinations, or trains pulling into forlorn stations...


I hear trains rumbling in the distance.

I hear their whistles echoing in the dead of night.

It’s 2 AM. I sit near a window and I hear a train in the distance.
A lonesome train bound for...somewhere. Somewhere far, far from here. I hear it. Funny how sound courses over the open plains, over marshes and forests and wetlands and space.

I hear the trains in the distance in the dead of night.

They haunt me.

* * *

Gratuitous non-sequitor: I'm gonna see Bruce Springsteen in concert on Sunday. The very thought makes me smile.

* * *


Blogger flutter said...

I have dreams of saying goodbye to a soldier, the swirling steam and dust curling around me as he leaves me on a train, never to return.

They haunt me, too.

Sat Oct 20, 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Brenda Starr said...

The things that haunt us are often the most beautiful and lend insight into who we are.
Oh I'd love to see Springsteen again. Hope you got good seats. ENjoy!!!

Sat Oct 20, 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Twilight said...

OOOh yes! I can relate to that Jonas.

Just after I arrived in the USA we moved to a house from where you can hear, distantly, the freight trains pass, and whistle to warn nearby townspeople of the approach. I was, and still am enchanted by the sound, especially at night.

We had trains in the UK, of course, but they're different, not nearly as romantic as these, traversing such vast distances over lonely prairies.

"Good morning America how are you?
Don't you know me I'm your native son,
I'm the train they call The City of New Orleans,
I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done."

Sun Oct 21, 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

I've no doubt, Ms. Flutter, that the scene of young men boarding trains to go off to war has become part of our collective subconscious. Those emotions were captured again and again in poetry and song.

That, and the fact that train sounds in the dead of night simply do something to the heart...

Hey, Laurie, Springsteen was Springsteen and I loved every minute!

Hello, Ms. Twilight! Glad to learn you enjoy Steve Goodman. My all-time favorite Goodman song is: "Do You Want to Learn to Dance?" Such a perfect, sweet song. Pity he died so young.

Wed Oct 24, 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger anna said...

I'm so jealous that you went to see Springsteen! Why didn't you take me with you, damn it?! ;)

Thu Oct 25, 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Please forgive me, Anna, but you did kinda disappear there for a while, no?

I hope all is well with you!

Thu Oct 25, 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger anna said...

Disappearing from blogland doesn't mean disappearing completely. I was always available via email.

Fri Oct 26, 04:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just back from Burgundy in France, by train, so it was probably my TGV's whistle you heard.

Dijon to Paris, and then Paris to London - at over 200 mph, all the way.

Wow. As fast as mustard, no less.

Mon Oct 29, 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

I thoroughly enjoyed my TGV ride from Paris to Bordeaux. Oh, how I wish we had train service like that here in the States! Fast, scenic, comfortable.

Can't say as I heard its whistle, though. Pity.

Wed Oct 31, 09:22:00 AM  

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