Monday, February 17, 2014

The Highway in the Distance

On April 28, 2012, I wrote about the mournful wail of the train horn.
I remember those nights when I was young.  I would be laying in my bed, thinking of whatever I was thinking of, feeling the soft summer breeze come through the window of my bedroom, lightly flapping the curtains.  Then, without fail, off in the distance, I would hear that mournful wail.  It would start low and last a long time.  Then, it would increase in volume and pitch.  As the train came nearer to our house, the loud sounds of metal on metal would fill the neighborhood, the horn would let out one last distant wail and then break free of it's yonder bonds as the train crossed the bridge over my front street.  The sound of the horn would wash over the whole house, shaking it to it's crumbling foundation.  Then, the pitch would lower and continue on into the distance, leaving only the clackety-clack of the wheels to lull me to sleep.
While I still remember that sound fondly and love the fact that I now live just three blocks from a frequented train track, there is another sound that hearkens my thoughts back to me resting in my bunk bed at night, lost in thought, dreaming about the beautiful Jolene who I was meant to marry, but didn't.

A mile from our front door, Interstate 35W wound it's way through the industrial areas of Northeast Minneapolis, snaking around the East and West Banks of the University of Minnesota. Thousands of cars, per day, would travel that stretch of highway. But I mostly remember the high pitched sound of the 18-wheeler.

For anyone who has been following Incongruous Circumspection since it began in February, 2012, you know I had a tough childhood, filled with abuse. But, having a mother with undiagnosed bipolar disorder, we also had many exciting adventures. The happy times were punctuated by being miserable. And the worst part was, you never knew when those punctuations were going to happen. Stress would build and then stay at a marginally high level until the bad happened, then it would reduce and begin the cycle all over again.

The sound of the truck tires would take my mind and carry me with them. I would imagine that I was traveling with the truck, off to some mysterious and exciting land somewhere. Anywhere but where I was. 

That sound follows me everywhere. I hear it when I'm camping, when I'm in a hotel, when I'm riding the ski lift at Lutsen Mountains in Lutsen, MN, about to slide down the Alpine Slide. And when I don't hear it, I see the world as quiet and peaceful.

Wherever I am at that moment, I rest.

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