On the Train

This was written around 8pm on Tuesday night:

I love taking the train. It’s my favorite way to travel, hands-down. You don’t get any snarfs, I’m sad to say, but you do get to see a lot of the country and there’s no worry about getting lost or running into traffic. As of writing this (7:56pm) the train is stopping in Rocky Mountain and we just passed a little war memorial I wanted desperately to try and take a photo of from the train (would have done, if I’d—doh! There’s a black train car (Coal Line) with a big plaque on a stone in front of it *salivates*–where was I? Oh, my inability to get my camera out quickly). I love passing through these quaint little towns—old buildings, mobile homes, fields, wooden frames of houses long-destroyed by fire, lakes, forests, run-down cemeteries, cute marines all lined up & listening to orders in Quantico, and even freeways (I counted eight cars which overtook us, at which point I stopped looking out of the window, depressed that they were going a little faster than I was.) It’s also a really great spot for people-watching. I feel so inspired to write stories about half the people I’ve seen today.

I just ventured out for a trip to the bathroom and then the café car, both of which I managed to navigate through successfully without falling on anyone. I have a window seat, for which I am exceedingly grateful, though I feel bad climbing out past someone/asking someone to move, which is why I waited several hours and then combined my trips out (yes, I AM a Hufflepuff, through and through). I had pizza for dinner and procured a bag of Doritos (one of my only “can’t resist” guilty pleasures and the main reason I gained 40 pounds when I went to college) and a Gatorade (I thought I would never drink another after drinking 3-4 bottles of Gatorade a day in Denver, where I have never been so thirsty in all my life, but I still like them, it turns out).

Most exciting moment so far: seeing that pyramid in Fredericksburg! WanderingRaleighite, Scribe, crrcookie, evildonut, and I snarfed it together on our Fredericksburg snarfari in 2009 and we were all a bit puzzled about why a monument was set so far off the driving trail though it was right next to train tracks. But I just happened to look up and see it and let me tell you, it does look great from the train; I wish more towns put monuments right by the tracks for my enjoyment! I got all excited about seeing and recognizing it. I told the woman sitting next to me that I’d seen that from the other side and she said she had noticed it many times while on her trips from Richmond to DC and back again. I told her it was a thrill to finally see it from the other side, as it was meant to be seen.

Close second to exciting moment: finally finishing Xanthe’s story, “Damaged.” I’ve been reading that thing for days and days now (all weekend, for hours at a time; almost a week now, I think). I don’t typically read pieces longer than one-shots because I just don’t have the time or patience (ONE DAY I’ll make it through Shoebox, I promise!) but I will always make an exception for Xanthe’s novellas. “Damaged” totally took hold of me for a week; I’d wake up and read a few sections before work, I’d get home after a long day and read a little, and I’d read for a few hours before bed (and repeat). Now I feel empty inside to have it over with. But, gods, what an emotional journey it was. No one writes NCIS as well as Xanthe. No one. Xanthe’s stories definitely become canon to me and it’s such great H/C. *happy sigh* I have a couple other stories saved on my computer but I don’t want to read them just yet. I want to let the emotions of “Damaged” resonate with me a little longer before I dive into another long adventure. Maybe by the time I finish overdosing this week on Harry Potter I’ll be ready to embark on another adventure with the NCIS gang.

Least favorite moment so far: the floor in front of the seat I was assigned was covered in really strong-smelling cleaning stuff. There had been a “spill” there before I arrived but the ticket-checker said it had been cleaned up. Apparently her idea of cleaning was to put down cleaning agent EVERYWHERE. The carpet was white and wet and slippery and there was no way I was putting my bag down on it. My seatmate and I complained and she said it was fine, but later she walked by and said “Oh, I forgot to vacuum!” and came by and vacuumed about half of it up. For a while, I thought I was going through very bad scenarios in my head about what kind of a mess it had been; it was really the worse place anyone could have seated an emetaphobe. But then it was hinted that it really was just a spill, not anything more so I’m clinging to that theory. And I’ve gotten used to the strong smell.

I think I might try my hand at some writing (I’ve got a few challenge prompts to tackle) or dive into the hockey romance novel I brought along. I’m not going to start re-reading “Damages.” I’m not. Really. Well… maybe just a little… just my favorite parts…