travel within the united states can at times be a bit of an experience separate from the living layer of things. it somehow feels as if all of it had to take place in an environment defined by artificial lighting, artificial surfaces, artificial sounds.
train travel can be a class of its own within that set of experiences. trains are often tucked away, hidden from sight in the station, accessible only through staircases or escalators, or at times pathways that can feel as if one were at a loading dock for cattle.
many trains seem loud, sweaty, oily and somehow oddly angry at themselves.
it feels as if most of their energy were used to just get their own wheels into any kind of motion. human beings just there for the ride. a shaky ride. often one on shiny pleather.
the acela today was actually not bad. not bad at all. we took the 10 am train towards washington. and it was better than i had expected somehow.
a tiny but bright led display over the door to the next car announced the time, and then the destination; went on to inform all of us that september was national preparedness month, that we should be ready for an emergency, and that double points were available with the new amtrak master card, with the offer expiring soon…
the train back in the evening was overbooked.
a traveler from first class was forced to travel business.
it was not me. i was just one of the many passengers who were given the opportunity to listen to the story that came with that move between classes.
the entire train was business, i think. first class was most likely too.
a washington commuter train. with lobbyists and pr experts and those interested in powerful things.
two people from the chocolate lobby were in the seats next to me.
i did not realize it was necessary for chocolate to have a lobby.
today we did not go to washington.
our stop was along the way.
hours away from washington.
went through a full day of travel.
and meetings. presentations.
good day. good work.