It’s a cold and lonely evening and you’re busy becoming nocturnal for some reason or another. You sit at your computer and sigh, shuffling your good leg and your robotic leg and a train whistle sounds and you say to the world, “Okay, now that’s just too much.” I mean, for real. A train whistle. Is there anything in the world more forlorn than a train whistle?
The fog horn, perhaps, but so much animosity swirls around that damned thing that it is wrapped in its own community of hatred. You could stumble through the frosty streets of Duluth knowing that even the rich people, even the crazy people, even the homeless people, even the guy with no legs in a wheelchair pushing himself down 2nd Street in a snowstorm, they all hate the fog horn as much as you do.
You are at the edge of the world with broken bones. You choke on the desert dust that whails through town like a restless spirit. Tumbleweed bounces across the parking lot and away into the sands and you realize the tenacious grip of the civilized world. The poster boys of civilization are different out West. The landscape and its patrons are inhospitable towards your coat and tie. Cowboys. 49ers. You can hear the creaking wooden floors, the swinging saloon doors, the tinny piano coughing out a ragtime lament. You take whatever civility you can get.
Your ghost train disappears into the desert shadows, leaving you with the evacuated heavens of all memories.