Thursday, November 09, 2006
I’m staying with friends on the northside of Pittsburgh. I came here for today’s funeral. Last night, lying in bed, I listened to the lonely wail of trains running on the tracks down below along the Ohio River. Those heading east are beginning to slow down as they come through this section, before heading over the trestle and into the city. I listen to the cars bump each other as the brakes are applied. Those trains heading west start gaining speed and I make out the engines gain momentum as they cut through the night, the engine’s whistle wailing at each crossing. I remember sitting in B’s living room. There were four of us. I was traveling through, coming back from North Carolina. I was living in Western New York then, it was in the early 90s. B had invited a few of our joint friends over. He had a fire in the hearth and we sat around it. I nursed a scotch. We’d been talking for hours, catching on each other’s lives. As the embers were dying, the conversation paused. Then a train came by. “That’s the Capitol Limited, headed to Chicago,” B noted. “You can tell by the sounds as you don’t have the clanging of the cars as you do with the freight trains.” I thought of him every time a train came through.