Tag: train

The Good News

When I was young, my mother told me I’d gotten a phone call. I was whining about what terrible news it was certain to be, and she said, “How can it be good news if you don’t leave room for it to be good?” I think of this every time I’m about to open a SASE. You know, the letter that, incredibly, some very high-end...

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Train of Thought

The train whistles in the distance. Slanting sunlight filters through the living room window—the train, which arrives and departs Memphis morning and night in the darkness, is late. Seated on the floor, I rub the dog’s belly and confide, “I love the train.” How I can love the instrument of my daddy’s death is beyond me....

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The Interstitial Moment

I don’t exit well. Astounded, I stared at the blank space on the dining room table. Last time I looked, my train ticket had been lying in that spot. My “this is not a ticket” information sheet, too, just in case I needed it. Ahead of time, I’d dutifully printed both pieces of paper and laid them in their special place. Which was now blank. This...

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Angels on the Train

We were many. An overflowing, summer-stuffed, unpracticed group. Even those of us who weren’t novice train-goers were intimidated by the crowd, made nervous by the excess: would I really have a seat? He was kind, the conductor who did not view his job as an opportunity to inflict minor cruelty on those more ignorant—and dependent—than he....

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Train Triptych Part Last: Without Warning

Without a whistle without a lurch, the train moved out. Stationary at the crossing doing God knows what, it finished, and went along its way unaware that three heartbeats before— one thump thump, two thump thump three thump thump, a boy had been shoving his bicycle between the cars then clambering up and over after it, impatient to get along...

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Ties that Could’ve Been

Riding the train from Memphis watching the tracks go by, I was struck by the railroad ties strewn hither and thither along the way. Old ties, been there a while— it wasn’t like the tie collector was chugging along behind me ready to recover the rotting ties. I couldn’t help but think of my artist friend and the wonderful things she could make...

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We Got Plenty of Time

It’s six o’clock. The cab was supposed to be here at six o’clock. I call. “This is Ellen Prewitt? Y’all were sending a cab?” “You’re in Harbor Town, right?” “Yes’m.” “We’ve got someone coming.” I stuff the phone in my back pocket. Two seconds later the phone rings. “I’m coming to get you. You’re in Harbor Town, right? I’m on Park. I’ll be there...

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Don Chickote: Or the Strange Adventures of Lucinda Mae Watkins on the Train

As irrefutable proof of my ingrained belief that the problem must be mine, I retained the title, description, and target audience given to me by a former agent whom an editor said was not marketing my novel correctly. That period is over. Old Title: Trouble at Big Daddy’s Chicken Palace Emporium New title: Don Chickote: Or the Strange Adventures...

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