Aboard the Amtrak, Train #238. Bound for Penn Station, NYC
I can’t sleep in this cramped seat. It’s 4A, the window with a view of the Hudson River. But there is no view. It’s white enough for sunglasses. I see West Point across the water, barely. I snap a photo with my iPad mini. It comes out blurry. I’m already nauseous from the constant rocking of the coach. Now, looking at the photo, I’m dizzy again.
We eat an expensive tuna salad wrap purchased in Albany. Our plastic water bottle crinkles loudly when I pin it behind the tight elastic cord on the back of seat 5A. The women in 5A is on her cell phone revealing personal medical information. I know what hospital her niece is a patient.
My wife is reading on her kindle app. Why isn’t she motion sick?
We’re below Croton-Harmon. The view is worse. Only the power lines glide past. Beyond, the Hudson is frozen to the far shore. A tug boat plows through the icy brine. Another to Penn Station.
I’m having trouble hitting the correct keys with the swaying and jerking of the train.
The sliding bathroom door just slammed shut. A toilet seat slams up or down, I can’t tell.
“Yonkers is the next stop”
Everything I see from the window is snow-covered. Everything I’ve seen for months has been snow-covered. I think I’m in a scene from “Dr. Zhivago”.
My soul has hope, however. It is not as bleak as the passing landscape. On Tuesday (I’m writing this on Sunday afternoon), we will be on a plane to Puerto Rico for a week. Not on a southbound train moving through yet another winter storm.
The river is breaking up into ice floes. We’re ten minutes from our destination. The snow is falling at a slant.
I can see nothing visibly alive outside.
Nothing visibly alive.
All the life along the frozen Hudson is there, but dormant until the warmth of spring..
A little like me.
bleak & dormant – I understand. But wait until next week – warmth will change everything.