We three each got different reasons for being here.
I walk the tracks because I never know where Iíll end up, figuring if I follow them long and far enough, I might end up somewhere other than where I am.
I donít exactly hate my life.
I just donít particularly like the direction it seems to be going in and hope the tracks might lead me to someplace other than a life in a factory like my father.
Spending most of my free time walking tracks like these, Iíve learned to distinguish† between tracks that might take me somewhere and tracks that lead to a dead end.
Iíve also learned the different between passenger and freight trains, and Iíve come to love freight trains better.
Passenger trains are too much like buses, always trailing the same set of tracks to the same dismal places, carrying the same bored people day in and day out.
A freight train might take you anywhere, and Iím out nearly every day, cutting classes to get down to the freight† yards to study the names on the sides of each car, seeing where they might have come from and imagining where they might go next.
Sometimes when my sneakers squeak while Iím balancing myself on a rail, I try to feel just where that rail leads, and imagine what might happen if I followed it and where I would end up.
I feel a whole like of places under my toes, places so far away I might spend an eternity getting to them, and if I can find the right combination of tracks, I might even get there.
Each day I try to go out a little farther, daring myself to reach a point where its too late for me to chicken out and turn back and still get home in time for supper.
When I was younger, I was scared Iíd go too far, and something would snatch me up so I couldnít get back. In those days, Iíd only go as far as the parkway or maybe the old Veteranís home.
Now I ache for something to snatch me up and drag me away, taking me beyond that point of no return.
Maybe, I think I can hope on one of those freight trains and cling on it long enough so that I wonít remember how to get back.
But I never do.
Iím standing on these rails to eternity too scared to go but so far.