The Train Whistles and Memories Stir

Early morning trains come and go just hundreds of feet from my room here. I sit in the mornings and listen to the lonely tunes the wheels and rails bump and grind. It’s one of those sounds each morning over coffee I consider. I can sometimes tell the difference of the amtrak and the freight trains. Both cross the road by the house live in countless times each day. If the days are good at work, I listen rather absentmindedly. If the days were worse or I leave with a sense of despair the trains are an escape for me. I can imagine the amtrak Capitol Corridor train that often crosses mornings and evenings. I know where the train goes and it would take me part way to the places I really want to go. I could board the train tomorrow and make it to a place like Sacramento and then go on. Perhaps on to Reno or Denver. I could also go to Seattle or Portland or Los Angeles. Different drum beats of destinations that will lead me on.

I think the train whistle is a lonely sound that splits the days and nights for me. It signals to the driver and pedestrian but it also signals to that lonely human element. The element that wants more and different and its keen and pitch cross over and each morning I know I am not long for the Bay Area. There is not enough here to keep me and the trains take me away.

One day I’ll join that train or another. I’ll whisk away to another place and that time is not so distant. It’s November and I realize I only have about 60 days to work and then I will be that wanderer that sits on the train crossing from Shanghai to Beijing or to Los Angeles or to points in between. Because I’m a train wanderer and instead of sitting in lonely distance as the trains and the whistles go; I will join them and perhaps then I will wonder and wander more and the trains will take me.

I know I won’t sit in this room and wonder or try to tell whether its a freight or amtrak voyager. Perhaps I’ll sit at the second level with a cup of coffee and the Fuji camera handy and this room, this bay, this state will just be another memory that the train took me away from.

Author: Michael Perry

I've been blogging for over 20 years and now am living in Southeast Asia. The blog is about my slow vagabonding wherever I want to go. My home base is in Cambodia but I'm rarely there.