Draining. If I were to describe the situation I was presently in, that would be the best word for it. It isn’t necessarily that the situation would be draining no matter who was experiencing it, but to me it checked off all the boxes to make it so.
Firstly, I had to get up early in order to get to the train station, as the only means I had of getting there was walking. Well, technically I could have taken a cab, but those come with their own problems. Next, I actually got to the train station, a bustling building jam-packed with too many sounds and too many people. Thank goodness I had my ticket reserved. If I didn’t, then I’d be stuck in a long line for who knows how long.
And so, here I am, waiting on a bench with a copy of The Hound of Baskerville to pass the time until the train arrives. In my opinion, there is no better way to shut out a cacophony of noise than with a good book. The more engrossed you become, the more that the sounds around you blend together into a singular, easily manageable noise. Granted, I could have also gotten a paper, but it was most likely talking about the second World War, and I didn’t want to depress myself too much.
Of course, I still needed to pay attention to my surroundings, as I did not want to miss my train. Not to say that I couldn’t pay for another ticket, as graduating from college after three years had freed up some income. However, I would hate to have to deal with the same noise storm again.
“Train bound for Niets, Washington has arrived at Platform Seven,” announced a woman over the intercom.
And with that, my reading time was over and I proceeded to swim through the sea of businessmen, loving couples, and chattering families. Eventually, after much struggle, I found myself at the aforementioned Platform Seven wherein a train by the name of The Frontier Chaser was waiting. I wouldn’t consider it to be a big train, in fact it was only about six cars long. The majority of the train was painted a dark green, save for the steel around the edges that shined with its usual luster and the train’s name which was painted on the front car and the caboose.
After getting a bit of a glimpse at the train that would be my home for a little over half a week, I moved into the line which had formed in front of the third car. Aside from the line, two other groups had formed. The first formed at the front of the train, seemingly comprised of the crew based on their uniforms. Among them was a man that seemed more distinct than the rest. It appeared that he was the conductor when considering that he was the only one wearing a driving cap. Aside from this, he had a beard that while rugged generally was also very sharply cut around the edges and large, toned muscles. I suppose if I went on muscles alone, I’d probably want to date him in a heartbeat. But alas, I’m not going off of one thing.
As for the second, it appeared to be comprised of staff for the most part, save for one man, who had messy ginger hair and a lab coat. They seemed to be moving a few large boxes into the caboose and while I could not tell what exactly was in said boxes, I did overhear the scientist (presumably) saying that they were “fragile” and “could explode” (so in other words I want to stay far away from the caboose).
While I was observing this, I also neglected to look ahead at the line, so when I did move it was when the line wasn’t moving, causing me to accidentally bump into the lady in front of. It wasn’t as if I careened into her or anything, more like a light tap on the back. Yet I seemed to have ticked her off. Judging by the extravagant frilly dress and parasol, she seemed to be one of those “self-centered upper class types.”
“Watch where you are going,” exclaimed the lady rather sternly. “Do you have any idea how expensive this dress is?!”
Naturally, I didn’t want to incur any more wrath onto me. So, in the most sincere voice I could muster, I said the most polite thing I could think of.
“You certainly do not sound so.”
Damn my monotone voice!
“Perhaps if you cannot sound sincere, you can try acting sincere,” suggested the lady. “Like by paying for another dress.”
Ah yes, and then I would lick the soles of your shoes and be your personal chair for a year. Like hell I would!
This seemed to honestly shock the lady. I guess she was used to getting her way all the time. However, I couldn’t focus on that satisfying expression too long as the guy in front of her had moved in towards me and had placed his hand on my shoulder.
“Listen pal, it’s best you apologize properly so we don’t need to drag this on,” said the man.
Frankly that would seem like a simple request if I were to just read those words on their own and neglect context. Yet, it seemed more like a threat when we consider who was saying them. He basically towered over me with a tall and strong physique, blacking out the sun with his black tuxedo not too dissimilar from my own. Also his voice was rather deep and while I am somewhat accustomed to deep voices (my own is rather deep for a woman after all), the way he accentuated certain words made him come off as rather menacing. Furthermore, his neck appeared to have a large number of tattoos on it, and while most of the rest of his skin was covered, I assumed that the rest of his body was plastered with them. Frankly, anyone with that many tattoos is some form of bad news.
“Sorry for bumping into you.”
Hopefully that was enough for them...
Well I guess it wasn’t since the guy was grabbing me by the hair. And after all the work I did to fashion it into a decent looking ponytail.
“Looks like you still do not understand, do you,” said the lady rather smugly. “Since you can not speak or look without coming off as deadpan - in fact, a pan has more emotions than you do - you should instead do something for me that would communicate that you were sincerely regretting your decision to be a klutz. Of course, if you wish to continue using hollow words to feign sincerity, my guard here will have to beat it out of you.”
Well, I suppose I’m about to end up as a carcass on the side of the tracks. And I just finished college too. I hadn’t even lost my virginity or anything yet! Mom, Dad, I’m sorry if I troubled you over the years, but I hope you can make it to my funeral.
“Excuse me, sir, you’re holding up the line,” shouted the staff member who had been checking tickets.
With that, the man let go of me and the two of them stormed on ahead into the train. For the time being, the crisis had been averted. Thus, I safely made my way onto the train, and upon being instructed to head to the dining car, I made my way there.