On a train to Switzerland
The train from Middletown to Newark Airport via Seacaucus Station. Trash on the tracks; trees naked and the windows cold against my nodding head, trying to catch sleep, but failing. Excitement and anticipation and nerves.
I’m bundled against such things with a scarf and coat and past challenges overcome, and I’m thinking ahead to the snows of Switzerland. The pitched pine roofs steep against the cliffs and the Valley Rhone so far below; and the Alps, the high mountains and on the edge of it all the tall crystalline skies and unknown corners of the world I have yet to pass into. Imagined dangers skip my heart a beat, and I think of Jack London and white wolves. A book I read as a child, a hard-cover that felt heavy in the hand, weighty to a boy whose world was then a handful of small Midwestern towns. One might think such reading would plant seeds for future adventures, but no, the seed came sooner for me. I sought Jack London; he did not seek me.
A kindly looking woman passed by my seat, talking into a phone about holiday things; my thoughts on time past and time ahead slid away and I was again on a train running the iron slopes of north Jersey.