February 6, 2010


He was driving in the dark when he heard the far off pounding roar of the diesel engine. His left rearview showed the train spotlight which seemed to move faster than usual. He felt a slight anxiety stir in his chest; he'd have to cross the tracks two miles up, and either get to work on time or late.

He came to the stop light. He imagined turning left, crossing the tracks twenty years ago, when he worked at the truck plant with Bill. The crossing gate, as moved by an invisible hand, dropped and red lights flashed. Thinking of those times brought on thoughts of the funeral yesterday. Twenty years have passed in a proverbial blink.

The horn tap behind jumped him to the present and he followed the line of cars down the two lane road, the parallel train roared, gaining, then appeared to slow as he gained speed.

Photo boards on easels of Bill, family, and friends through the years were on either side of the casket. There was same picture that was in his family room. He knew it would be somewhere in the collage. It was four couples in a photo taken by a stranger who was asked to take the picture. It seemed like yesterday. He remembered Bill wanted to do some hiking but we never got around to it.

He slowed to twenty-five through the flashing yellow lights of the school zone. The train gaining fast now and he was sure he'd be stopped. The horn sounded as he came to the crossing, the crossing gate arms moved ghostly down. It roared through, it's horn a continous wailing. His eyes welled as the doppler sang one part harmony with his doppelganger.