Train Ride South

The thing where you’re riding on a train and don’t know which way you’re going, not in any real sense, and in fact, you’re not even too certain of the options.

I took a class once with Maria Irene Fornes, and I was not particularly her favorite or even close, which is what I most remember, but I also remember she said she liked to write on trains.

When I studied with Eduardo Machado I think he liked that Fornes was no fan of mine, as they’d fallen out rather dramatically.

I wonder at the thing where that which I truly want I can barely express to anyone even to me.

I’ve been writing a novel about when I was a kid but all the really wild things I imagined were real instead of imaginary. Young girls chased by devils through New England marshland.

When I was 12 I thought a devil was chasing me through my suburban neighborhood. I’ve dreamed of it since. I thought he was after my heart. When I was 22, I noticed he’d stopped chasing, and I was grateful. I never knew if he’d gotten what he came for, or not.

The best I can do is stand on the threshold between two bottomless chasms and look up. I grip the door frame.

I’ve been writing fiction and I love it more than writing plays, at least for now, but the same invisible force stands between me and everything somehow. How do I get the work out there where it will be read?

At my sister’s this weekend we planned the ultimate invisible fence for her secluded, country home. A fence both tall and wide strung through with vines so thick they look like thick nature and not a divider between public and private space.

That same fence stands between me and the audience I wish my fiction to have. A barrier so thick and invisible I don’t recognize it for what it is, it just looks like a piece of nature from where I stand in the street, facing the oncoming traffic.

The thing where you think you’re going crazy but instead it’s the same thoughts running relays.

There are at least 20 mosquito bites on my ankles, and I’m writing on the train like Maria Irene Fornes, except with a seven year old in the seat next to me. There is less freedom when traveling with a child, but there can be discovery in limitation.

We just made a trip to the snack car, so I think I’m good for another 10 minutes. Oh wait, he needs help with his soup, and the pizza hit the floor– face up!

Signal issues with a locomotive ahead of us. I think we’ll be getting home late. We’re heading downstate from up.


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