The tracks stretched out before me this morning like an endless trail -- a trail of wanderlust, journey, adventure. I intently watched the signal down the tracks for change. Soon, it changed from green to yellow signifying a train was on the way. The distant wail of an air horn could be heard far down the tracks beyond the bend. I placed my ear upon the rails like I always did as a child in this very same fashion to listen for the characteristic clickety clack of steel wheels upon steel rails over expansion joints. I grew excited and walked over to sit upon the bench behind the bank to enjoy the passing of a freight.
Ferret told me the other day that he hates these trains. "They keep me up all damn night," he said. Ferret's campsite is only a few hundred yards from the rails. I, on the other hand, revel in these great mechanical beasts. Often, I will lay in bed with Rosa by my side as I listen to that mournful wail of a freight train passing far downtown on the tracks, sleepless. It evokes fond childhood memories of my love for trains. It also stirs within me a deep loneliness and an unsettling feeling -- an urge to strike out and explore the rickety, ramshackle backsides of small towns in the South. I once hiked these rails to God's country a few summers ago and it is in my blog archives somewhere. The was a grand, but uncomfortably hot adventure.
We go today to buy Rosa a bicycle and I am excited. Rosa has some misgivings about it, though. She thinks she is too old to be riding a bike and will feel uncomfortable doing so. "The only people that ride bikes around here are you, poor black people, kids, and those exercise obsessed yuppies with the expensive road bikes and back spandex shorts," she told me. I tried to encourage her to break from conventional thought and for us to enjoy some rides together. She would be able to ride over anytime she wanted to see me and I was unable to go pick her up.
"Just think of the good times we could share," I told her enthusiastically, trying to share my love of bike riding.
"I guess," Rosa said. "It is still going to make me feel weird. Besides, those bike seats hurt my butt something terrible."
"We will buy you a more comfortable seat."
I am so excited about today. Today I will enjoy the simple things. I will look up for the moon, stand in a spotlight of sun, and I will inhale with a purpose. I'll notice the breeze through my clothes, in my hair, through me. I will slow down and enjoy every pleasure today has. This day is going to be delicious.