Haven’t you ever wanted to be free, just free to rest and watch the world go by, like those adventurers in books and movies riding in train box cars across open country. I'd been up all night studying, now I was very wired on caffeine and sugar, at college , feeling alone, without a car, and dreamed of just sailing away with the breeze in my hair, the clouds and sun puffy above to the horizon…
This started because there was a train that would crawl, like really really crawl, through my college town in West Virginia. It had to go slow because of the town’s streets that it crossed and because it must have been a mile long. It’s long long cars pulled slowly, box and coal cars, with blocks of coal, and I always thought “wouldn’t it be great to jump on and just ride away”. One day in the library, I noticed train tracks on a state road map, and they went from my college town north a few hours to just a few miles from another college where a friend from home was going (she said we were going to be just friends now). Without a car I had not been able to visit her, but now my mind began to form a plan!!
Packing up a bag with a map, apples, food and water and a change of cloths I walked down to the tracks one Sunday and waited for the train. I JUST HAVE TO GET ON A TRAIN, But no train came, I waited, and ate some food, and waited. After eating all the food, I finally gave up went back to my room and changed. I had to burn off this caffeine, so was going for a run out by the fields. Then suddenly I heard the whistle, and decided just to go see it. It was a long long line of coal cars slowly weaving its way through the edge of town. I JUST HAVE TO GET ON A TRAIN,
Running along the side of the tracks I found that I could easily keep up with the slowly moving train, wow this would be possible. I reached out and rested a hand on the rungs of the ladder of the coal car and could still keep up. But now getting tired and the ground got suffer, I slowed and suddenly was jerked off my feet, in order to not get thrown under the wheels I pulled up onto the ladder.
Well here I was, might as well see if I could ride it to the end of town and jog back. But click clacking sound seemed to be getting louder, the train was picking up speed. Time to get down. But it looked a lot faster now. So, If I move my feet as fast as I could I’d set them down at full speed and run away from the train, here goes,
As soon as my feet hit the gravel they were tossed up above my head and into the rungs of the ladder. Now I was upside down on the ladder, head pointed down and feet up above my head. Auuuggggg… Untangling myself, I held on and thought the problem through, I GOTTA GET OFF OF THIS TRAIN
So now starting to leave the town behind I though next was to do what I’ve seen in the movies, just jump off and roll. Just have to pick a soft spot to land. Watching a patch of grass approach, I practiced in my mind and then looked into the grass as it passed by, oh no… that one had a hidden chunk of granite. How about this next one, … nope that one had thorns and an log with sharp branches, .. I GOTTA GET OFF OF THIS TRAIN
Then I heard a sound, an echo, climbing up to the top of the coal car I looked forward and saw
!! the train was going into a tunnel!!!!
So, reaching out to the next car I thought moving back to the end of the train as fast as I could would be a good idea, but no... I was plunged into blackness with a hand and foot on the ladder of one car and a hand and foot on the next. Swirling coal dust off of the gravel above me curled around and stung my eyes and made me choke!!
Then still in pitch darkness I heard a bang from up front, and then another, closer, then they got closer and louder and closer and louder. Something huge was crashing, was the train crashing into something? Then suddenly the 2 cars I was holding onto squeezed close together, AUUUUGGG, the train must be slowing and the cars are compressed. Then the bang, and another bang coming from up front and getting closer and closer, then suddenly the cars pulled apart, I could just hardly hold onto the two cars stretched me as far as I could reach, and the train was speeding up…. Finally, Light!!!
I GOTTA GET OFF OF THIS TRAIN
A trestle bridge way up high over a river was coming, I could jump and land in the water, I’ve seen that in the movies. Grabbing a large block of coal I tossed it off to calculate the jump and the 30 foot glide down to the water below, but no it hit the granite block trestle and exploded into fragments.
So don’t jump when over the water because the glide would take you to far and you will hit the bridge trestle. Picking up another block, tossed it just when crossing a trestle and watched but it hit so so close to the base of the next one that I’d probably still hit it under water. Oh, so I have one more chance and I’d have to jump 10 feet before the trestle and out just enough to clear it and glide down to hit the water before the next one… but time, (and courage) had gone and now the river was looking shallower and less like a good idea.
BUTI GOTTA GET OFF OF THIS TRAIN
Then I heard it again, up around the bend, that echoing hollow sound of another tunnel.
Looking around for a safe place I had no good options. So, I climbed down onto a steal beam that held the axel and there I could brace myself under the coal car and between the huge steel wheels. Here I rode out several tunnels, less coal dust but the sparks that shot up around me were terrifying…
Finally, the train slowed, I climbed up and could see grass and a stream below, climbing down again, I waited till I could wait no more, I had to get off of the train. Jumping I rolled and tumbled and finally regained my feet.
And then the train stopped!!
Bruised and battered I walked down over a stream and up to a road, and held out my thumb, got a lot of weird looks and they all seemed to speed up. Turns out that I was so covered with coal dust and a tee shirt with burn holes from the sparks. It took me most of a day and a night to get back to college. No one would pick me up,
What else can I say, but the wisdom of King Solomon:
To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer…..
Proverbs 16:1-2 NIVhttp://bible.com/111/pro.16.1-2.NIV
******** Live True Story Moth Notes ********
(note to reader, in a tell there is a time limit, i.e. a patience limit, which is different from the reader's, so more details are in the writing, and lots of pre-and post details are dropped from the Telling so that the story has verbal flow and verbal human auditory time patience)Begin notes:
Need to skip all the intro about college and tiredness and library and girlfriend
Need to start with jogging by the railroad tracks, shortens tell. Skip initial feet tangled in ladder, Have only three closed episodes of crisis, 1) jumping, 2) Tunnel, 3) tressel 4) tunnel (humm thats 4)
Need A better ending
Moral? Is there a Moral to this story
* Is it Temporary trills are dangerous
******** Story Tell Outline ********
Jogging, caffeine wired,
- Slow long train,
- Need for the temporary Thrill
- Just GOTTA GET ON that Train
Speeding up, can't get off
- Plan to Jump, JUST GOTTA GET OFF
- Grass, Granite, then Log
Echo... tunneling 1, between cars
- Transition between cars
Trestle bridge, JUST GOTTA GET OFF
- Jump Test 1
- Jump Test 2
Tunnel 2, between wheels
- Woods, road, jump
- Jump, Roll,
- Brook, reflection
- Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith
- In dark dark times, hold on, you will get into the light
- Choose your Goals wisely