In New England, school was as inevitable as the commuter train that my father took into Boston every weekday morning. The trains ran on an artificial elevation directly behind our house. Over the top of the fence that enclosed our back yard, we could see rows of men in grey suits -- reading their morning papers inside the train as the silver cars whizzed by.

Every morning, I walked to school very slowly
along the tracks,
in the opposite direction from Boston.

In the evening, long freight trains distorted the picture on the black and white TV we were allowed to watch for a few hours if our homework was finished.

After dark, as I lay under layers of wool blankets, night trains rattled the storm windows beside my bed. Over and over I dreamed that I was being chased by a relentless freight train. that was able to follow me no matter in which direction I ran.



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