The train rumbles by gran’s each day every six hours like clockwork. It annoys me. I have little memories that are all mine connected to trains. I am haunted by others. I carry other people's memories of trains with me.
Hank was someone who first told me about trains. He told me one night in his small smoky trailer in ____, Ohio years after he was my boss, when he was just my older friend that I rolled tight small marijuana cigarettes with and talked politics late into the night. Years later he told me things about the Kent State shootings that he had witnessed first hand as a young underclassmen and a bit of a counter culture freak. He would tell me things when we finally cultivated the genuine friendship that transcended age and all of the societal bullshit- when we really became friends he told me all about his ex wife and the love story that made me sit on the old brown lazy boy recliner and cry.
He told me about the train track that ran the full length of their old property and how when he heard the train for years after she was gone he would jolt awake with memories of her and her scent and sex and all of the things that made her his. He would be working in his old garden shed and the train would rattle the thin windows and he would fall apart.
I remember standing in his backyard one late summer evening, the last summer I wore a very short dress and bare toenails. The summer I was still unaware of the massive pain that could fall a human heart.
I remember reaching my hand out to his and how young my hand looked and he squeezed it and we both cried because it was an authentic moment in life.