chase scenes serial #2

no, the uncomfortably hot water in the hot tub, slowed down my circulation. My extremities are lethargic. My right hand is frisky at the moment as it writes, but my feet and toes feel etherized propped upon the coffee table in our room. As I floated on my back in the pool I pulled my ears beneath the water to tune out the roughhousing children and the little girl who was afraid to get in. I held air in my chest. The train is coming by now. Which train? Burlington Northern Santa Fe. It went by four (4) times while we walked around Bismarck. Good god it sounds as though it is bearing down on our room! There, the whistle has passed. Saved by the Doppler effect, or at least alerted to my salvation. In fact the train is across the parking lot, and across a creek, a murky tan coloured creek‡. The water is opaque, perhaps it is filled with peanut butter syrup. Later. Earlier? The ceiling above the pool was wood, there were deep glu-lam beams. It was an indoor pool, obviously. I thought back to that pool at Mammoth Mountain, although as I floated I thought more about how I slept on the floor of a walk-in closet in our chalet, there were so many of us. I lay in there eating VONS brand Cheerios and listening to Burzum’s ‘Hysset Vis tar Oss’ or whatever, and Sort Vokter’s ‘Folkloric Necro-Metal’ and reading Swann’s Way. That was in 2000, January 2000.

chase 01

This train perhaps shadowed route 94, within a few miles, for its entire trek across North Dakota. I know for a fact, because I slept through its nocturnal howling, that it ran by both Bismarck and Medora, all of North Dakota for me. I picture now, sitting in Georgia, what was so visceral a disturbance to me in North Dakota. Not the hooting of the engines jarring me in the motel rooms, but the vision, when standing by the tracks after taking a coffee in Bismarck, of the countless wheels sliding clearly along the rails westward. I stared into them, and I will no doubt intellectualize the sensations now that I am so distant. I stared into the space between the wheels, a space of time sliced through by wheel after wheel. I pictured in a split second it cleaving my body in twain, my head from my body. It was horrible inside. It was the fear of no control, of the accident, the fear that you are not finally in control, that I am not, and that the seconds that that train carried beneath it, were the same seconds that separated me from it, and me from the someday inevitable. Yes, in words it loses its gut, but I cannot go back.

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