Travel Day Series: Episode 6
Train from Edinburgh to Dunblane, Scotland (2)
Two people talking on their phones, not talking to one another. Layers and layers of sound beyond these two people talking to people who aren’t anywhere near the train. Two guys are drinking what looks like wine from plastic cups, but given the faces they make when they swallow, it looks red like cough medicine.
The rest of the people on the train are either talking to each other or sleeping or reading their phones.
—Anyway, so what’s the plan?
—Wait a second, there is a train coming by...why are they so loud?
—I’m gonna have a stop at Tesco
—You need to have your foot massaged don’t you?
—You’ll need to catch me first hahaha. That will be fun. Police might beat you up. We are at our stop. There’s our car mom can you pick up my bag?
(Electronic voice: Next stop Larbert}
—We should go to a restaurant and have more than a soup and a toastie— dad was like “well that backfired”.
—Are you going to Dundee weekend next?
The train stops. Somebody gets a text. The radiators tick and click as the train sighs and then wheezes. We are on a gentle turn so the whole train is tipped a little to the right and our heads lean to the side as if we are avidly listening. Which I am. Jill is asleep against the window.
I can hear everything now that we are stopped and the loud girl is off the train and nobody is talking.
I can hear the birds in the field next to us and another train coming diagonally out of the station. Must be what we were waiting for as we are now moving again. A woman with the text message sneezes sharply twice and the wheels kick up their clatter and rhyme.
Anticlimactically we cross a darkly running river and pull into the station. The next stop is ours.