Fear of Trains

Everyone has an irrational fear of some type: a horror of something that can’t hurt you, or at least is highly unlikely. I for one am bothered by thunderstorms, due to almost being hit by lightning on a Boy Scout trip. My girlfriend loathes moths and butterflies, because “they’re like tiny weird aliens, and I don’t like them. Plus they’re rude.” Sometimes when I drive, I have the following irrational fear:


One of my fears, is that

I’ll be driving through historic downtown

listening to Weezer

with the music turned up

so loud (it’s punk rock, you have to)

that I won’t be able to hear the fog horn.

Some jokester might have cut some wires

and the lights won’t be working anymore

and the gatekeeper bar just won’t show up,

hungover again.

The front wheels of the GMC Envoy

will bounce over the first rail,

and I’ll brace for that second bounce

but it won’t ever come.

The train’s pilot will obliterate my left middle window

shearing through the car with a slick metallic roar

like a child crushing a tin foil cube.

My head will snap to the left

as onlookers scream.

I’ll probably try to yell

but what with my collapsed chest

I don’t think it will work.

Even if I could, the roar of the train

would drown my cries out,

the flutter of a butterfly next to a Boeing engine.

The car will be dragged through the gravel on both sides of the track

before sliding off the train and swerving into a tree

throwing my head from left to right

finishing what the train started (see also: death)

Some woman will scream and

some engineer will be sued and

some journalist will write a sob story and

some people will cry.

That is one of my fears.

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