Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Train to Hyannis

[Above] Toy Camera Images: The Train to Hyannis. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The Train to Hyannis.
The woman in seat 15a is wearing too much rouge and not enough eyeliner. She clutches a souvenir photo of herself in front of some monument. She nods off to the frequency transmitted up through the floor by the contact of steel wheels rolling over steel rails. A frequency that lulls those at the end of a long day of sight seeing into neutral buoyancy. The bartender is serving drinks from behind a plywood bar lit by strings of Christmas lights. He pours perfectly as the train moves while listening to the war stories of one of his star customers. He is a master of his craft.

At 25 miles per hour, the backs of buildings and cranberry bogs pass by slow enough to take in all the details. At each railroad crossing, people in cars stare back at the train. Hundreds of people locked in a thousand yard stare, waiting for the light to turn green and the gates to lift. As we clunk to a stop at Hyannis station, there is a spontaneous round of applause. The clapping seems out of place. I don't clap. The conductor prepares for the late afternoon run. This time of day is always the busiest because of the sunset crowd. The bartender counts his tips and unplugs the Christmas lights. And the woman in 15a is awake. She applies more rouge and heads out into the afternoon heat still clutching the photo in the paper frame.

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