Thursday, October 28, 2010

all aboard

This week my head is a very crowded train station: noisy, jostling elbows, the brush of passing overcoats, leather cases dipping through the smoke and steam, a kind of palpable hurrying joy; and above it all the tick of the great big clock that hangs in the center of the rotunda. (Books that begin with beautiful passages about train stations that I can think of off the top of my head: Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler and Sebald's Austerlitz.) Ah and now there's the frenetic flip of the mechanical schedule board (one of my favorite sounds of all time)! Where are we going? How fast will we get there? And most importantly—will there be snacks?