A train sounds like a beautiful mode of transportation. It’s almost romantic, really, the idea of traveling across the country on a train. Try swapping it with another option. A car? You must be moving. A bus? Only if you’re in a band. A plane? How original.

Traveling by train is retro. It appeals to the hipster in you. You start to envision what life is like on the train: long days looking out your window as the countryside passes by, the soothing hum of the engine that guides you to sleep as the train keeps chugging along. The train is efficient: you glide past traffic, reading and working and socializing as the plebeians look on from their cars.

The time comes for you to get on the train. You are excited because you’ve never really traveled by train before but you know it will be glamorous. You’ve thought this through for so long that your musings about what it will be like have become your expectation of reality.

The landscape in Arizona.

And then reality hits you like a fast moving train. Only in reality, trains don’t move that fast. Sometimes they don’t move at all. Hours pass as you look out your window at the same barren landscape begging for the train to move. You close your eyes, praying that if you don’t look at it it will change. You open them again. The tumbleweed stares back at you, mocking you because you are locked inside a motionless beast and it is free to tumble wherever it pleases. Damn you, tumbleweed, you think to yourself. The train has reduced you to conversations with half-plants. Continue reading “Derailed.”