Prague commuters could soon be finding love on underground trains (Picture: AFP/Getty)
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a passenger holding the doors of the train open, and we cannot move until the woman he is speaking to either gathers her suitcases and steps off the train with him, or convinces him that it is really over and he should just let her go. We apologize for the delay.Bob Powers, “Train Announcements”
“Since the early ’60s, the price of a slice of pizza has matched, with uncanny precision, the cost of a New York subway ride.”
- Eric Bram, New York Times
I want to put her in my pocket.
Amtrak, 6:40 a.m.
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She smokes a cigarette in the morning, another before dinner, and a third last thing at night, and she must have just smoked one, because her voice came at me like a distant train, a lovely, throaty rumble bearing down on me through the receiver, and it made me happy and hopeful just hearing her say, ‘Hello?’Brock Clarke, An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England
Down the subway’s mouth
the panting breath of Paris
keeps him going on
Photo: Izis Bidermanas
Virginie Colline is a French translator living in Paris. Her poems have appeared inPrick of the Spindle, Spinozablue and Seltzer, among others. “Haïku, Métro Mirabeau” first appeared in BRICKrhetoric, issue 10.
Boston, where you never wanted to live, where you feel you’ve been exiled to, becomes a serious problem. You have trouble adjusting to it full-time; to its trains that stop running at midnight, to the glumness of its inhabitants, to its startling lack of Sichuan food.Junot Díaz, This Is How You Lose Her
Except for two years when I lived in Happy Valley (a.k.a. Penn State’s main campus), I’ve always lived within earshot of the train.
Railroad tracks run just beyond the backyard of the house where I grew up. Trains were part of my childhood landscape — and soundtrack. I counted freight cars from our back bedroom window on more than one summer night, the rhythmic clatter of train against rail a soothing, almost hypnotic sound.
The Iron Horse steam engine used to rumble by once a summer back in the ’60s. It was an event we all looked forward to — and our backyard offered front-row seats.
My house now isn’t so close to the tracks, but I can still hear the train whistle in the distance, a lovely, somewhat mournful chord that sounds as trains approach Ardsley station.
Once I was on the phone with a friend who lives on the other side of town, also within earshot of the tracks.
As we talked, I heard the whistle of a train passing through Ardsley. A few minutes later, I heard the whistle again — but this time through the phone. That same train was moving on toward Philadelphia, its tone carrying across the field next to my friend’s house.
I heard the sound and smiled. It was such a moment of connection, the same feeling I get when I look at the moon and know that a loved one far away could be seeing the same sight.
A while back, my husband and I saw a rainbow; when we talked to our daughter later in the day, she mentioned seeing the same rainbow. Such a sweet and simple pleasure.
We humans share so many connections on this planet.
They remind me how much we’re all in this together.
Cathy Slobodzian Kress earned a BA in journalism from Penn State. Her working life has been divided between newspapers and libraries. Her blog, Momentary Joy, a collection of essays and photos, has been up since 2010. She lives, writes and looks for those joys in a little suburb of Philadelphia — and beyond.