For years, I have shied away from riding boarding trains.
I didn’t even want to take short trips with my kids, on their field trips.
I would suffer through the excursion, and pretend I liked it for their sake. Then one morning, my mother asked me to go with her on one. She wanted to go into the city, and we had to take the train. All the memories of the trip my best friend and I took, came flooding back to me. I remembered how the first more than five hours were spent in air conditioning so cold that I was actually shivering. Dad had asked for a blanket and he sat there huddled beneath it, and still visibly shaken. I asked if something could be done with the air conditioning. I was told it wouldn’t quit running. I worried about my Dad. He was almost ninety and if he got sick, someone was going to pay. After more than five hours, I saw Dad throw off the blankets and tell me he was feeling warm. I thought it was getting warmer too, although I also thought maybe I was just going into shock before freezing to death. Everyone was throwing their blankets to the side. Two hours later, most people were dripping with sweat. It became so sizzling that it was all I could do to breathe. I asked the same woman who had answered about the air conditioning, why the heat was on? She told me that when the heating and A/C tech fixed the air conditioning, she wired something wrong. Instead of air conditioning, we now had heating, and nothing would change until we got to our next stop. That’s where we got off.