Monday, May 7, 2012

In the Moment...Ticket to Ride

I've mentioned before that there is a Harry Potter-type train permanently stationed at the park where I walk the dogs.  This morning, camera in hand, I thought it would be really cool to actually board this train and take some photos from inside. 

My inner child was jumping up and down with glee.  When I was a kid, one of the things I dreamed of being when I grew up was a train engineer.  At the time I wasn't yet hip to the limitations imposed by gender.  That knowledge came much later, in a variety of ways, though I clearly remember my Psych 101 class imploding when reading Freud's words for the first time: anatomy is destinyThat pompous, moronic rat bast--

Oh, sorry, sorry.  I digress.

Back in the moment.

It's a beautiful, sunny morning.  I'm eager to get to the other end of the park and climb aboard.  I have visions in my head of leaning out the window, pretending to pull the cord for that long, lonesome sound of the train whistle.  (There isn't actually a whistle on this doubt a good thing when you factor in the volume of kids that clamor all over it on weekends and holidays).

As we come down the path toward the train, there isn't a soul in sight to thwart my plan.  It's a quiet Monday morning.  I stop for a moment to take this:

On the other side of the train are metal steps to the engine compartment.  My heart was beating a bit faster with excitement as I anticipated going up those steps and looking out that window.

But then.  

Just as I round the front, a school bus pulls into the parking area and 40 kids spew out, yelling and jumping and shrieking and laughing, heading straight for the train.

I gaze wistfully at those metal steps, look up and catch a small glimpse into the stuff of a girl's childhood fantasy, and walk away.

Maybe only children get a ticket to ride...


  1. I have a friend who when we trek abandoned railroad grades brings a train whistle. The second we go around a turn or cross water, he blows it. He's eleven years my senior, but by the glint of childish glee in his eye when he does this, you'd never know.

    1. A man after my own heart, then.