The Good Seats Aren’t Reserved for Me

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Cono Dennis

My ears focus on the Sound of the train’s idling, but eager-to-go engines. Where the hell would I be today if I didn’t have those railroad memories chugging along with me, some good and some anything but?

Just as I’m feeling comfortable that I won’t be crowded, I feel something settling into that worn seat next to me, making itself comfortable but making me anything but. It nudges me. I ignore it and then tell it to go away. It doesn’t listen. The memories want me to pay them a little attention. I know this train is about to pull out. I know this train is taking me to Temple. But my mind and my uninvited seat companion start to take me somewhere else, somewhere I’ve already been before, somewhere I don’t care to go back to. It starts speeding me down the track a lot faster than this train is accustomed and a whole lot faster than I can put a stop to.

The first memory is safe. It makes me wish, “If only it could have all been this easy.”     But past wishes were reserved for the other folks with good seats.

Not for me.

Excerpt from No Hill for a Stepper

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