Cross-Country Reality Check
A NUDGE BEGINS IT ALL
The trip begins in
Emeryville, across the Bay from San Francisco. I came over the night before
to catch the California Zephyr. It runs to Chicago. I was then
planning to take the City of New Orleans train down to New Orleans.
It is 9 AM. I am relaxed in my economy seat which, despite the low cost, is
large and comfortable. I look around at the few other passengers settling
in. I note the clear weather, the day; it is a nice one. There is an
indeterminate buzz in the air, like bees in a garden on a day when you don't
know what you're going to do but don't care.
Then I feel a nudge. The train moves slowly out of the station.
nudge, not a jolt. A gentle beginning. We are leaving the city behind.
Then we are up around Richardson Bay. Blue skies, gray-green
water, pilings of old piers extending into the Bay like brown rotting teeth, and Mount Tamalpais
behind us and to the West. I'm up in the observation car now, where I can see
It takes three days to get to Chicago on the
a day to New Orleans on the City of New Orleans. I am quietly excited for whatever is
I smell the flowers in the garden,
I hear the
They are buzzing for me.
Mabye. I feel like I've been drinking wine.
Snow White, Blood Red