A Morbid Train Ride

I dreamed last night that I was on a train that stopped. I wasn’t paying attention to the fact that it was time for me to disembark. In fact, I’m pretty sure I got on with no intention whatsoever of leaving in the first place. But leave I did. A lot of people had left the train and there I was, standing in the aisle as the mighty iron dragon roared forward. It fled quickly, eating through landscape voraciously. I worried about how I’d get back to where I was. Rental car? Train? Not on foot, that would be crazy. And certainly not bike. But I didn’t have much money. The landscape looked progressively more forlorn. I spoke to a kind-looking man. “I’m not supposed to be here. I should be back there. In Ullele.” He said, “Then pull the rope. Talk to the engineer. He can take you back.”

And so I did. I reached up and tugged the white rope strung across the wall as if it were a bus. The train slowed to a stop. I then walked toward the engineer’s compartment and they let me in. One was a middle-aged woman with very short steely gray hair. The other was an older man with trim black hair and a grayish sweater. I sat with them. “I’m sorry, but I wasn’t supposed to leave from back there.” They didn’t look happy, but the man replied, “It’s no problem. We can go back.”

The train started moving in reverse. I didn’t hear anything from the other passengers but I imagined they were not happy. And then entered the engineer’s compartment. She sat beside me, smiling. Her hair was bobbed. It looked cute.

“Hi!” I said. “Are you mad?”

“Well, I wasn’t happy about this, but it’s okay,” she said. Then, more coyly, “Besides, I want you to sign my books.”

I grinned. “Of course!” And I hugged her.

And now I’m awake. I don’t know if the train made it back, but I feel more like I’m moving forward this morning. Fast. Goodbye, Ullele! ‘Til we meet again!

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