If ever there was a perfect time for the train to stop, it was my early adolescence.
I remember it as a dusty time, filled with sweat and hot days when it seemed the sun would never go down. It remained a great unblinking face over my home town, white and wavering above the shroud of its own warmth. Even the sign to our one street hamlet was bleached by many long days greeting only tumbleweeds.
There was only one way that people came past our town, and it was by train. Or so I had heard, for the great behemoth never stopped once in my life. But I had seen it go past many a time, even made a game out of it with my small town friends.
First we felt the rumble, just barely in our toes, but that was enough. We’d cast our parents and grandparents a meaningful look and we’d be off, sneakers slapping against the dirt road. Those days were the best of all, sitting out on the hill over the tracks as the beating sun faded into cool shadows. We would gasp and ponder about the pe