Monday, June 30, 2008

Runaway train

There’s a man sitting across the way wearing a hat.

He’s a time traveler; situated among us casual commuters in our flip-flops, bare legs, jeans and polo shirts. A gray-haired anachronism sporting a semi-rumpled suit, tie and overcoat.

And the hat.

Similar to the hats my Grandpa Kammer wore. Unbelievably soft yet durable. Inside: a shiny pale rosy satin, featuring the faint scent of that semi-gloss pomade used liberally to avoid what we call hat-head.

He looks like a reporter. Or a private investigator. Or a ghost.

There’s another old man sitting below, twiddling his thumbs. Who does this anymore? Twiddling.

Then for a time we run parallel to a freight train – car after giant car loaded with mounds of coal. Coal. A regular, yet oddly old-fashioned occurrence on these early morning trips to the city.

And then I realize that we, the casual commuters, are the time travelers who’ve somehow caught a throwback train instead of the 7:07.
I am listening to: Runaway Train – Soul Asylum
I am reading: Neil Steinberg at the Chicago Sun-Times
And I am: Sleepy


Susan said...

I figured out we were on the same train this morning when you talked about the long line of coal cars...reminded me of my great-grandpa, who was a coal miner in the early 1900’s in Southern Illinois – his wife, my great-grandmother, Anna Mae, is who I named someone I love dearly after.


Anonymous said...

What's a train?

Anonymous said...

I have a confession to make, I caught myself twiddling my thumbs in church.
Love You,