Last night as I was drifting lazily off to sleep, lying on my pillow, eyes half open, I heard the sound of a train whistle in the distance. I notice it occasionally, but not often. The noises around here – husband guitaring, cats meowling, toilets flushing, neighbors stomping usually drown it out, but sometimes there it is, floating lazily out of the darkness. I love the sound of train whistles. They remind me of my childhood, and usually bring about a feeling of contentment and safety. My grandfather lived rather near a set of train tracks. When the trains came barreling by it usually sounded like it was running right through his living room, but once you get used to the noise it’s not so much loud and annoying as it is exciting. Or something. Somehow it’s different than a loud car, screeching it’s wheels and playing loud, rock music. A train, to me, sounds like a different time. A time that I myself never lived in, have only read about and seen in movies. When trains were the primary mode of travel it seems like life was simpler. I’m sure I’m delusional as the world has always had it’s problems, but I’m just saying, whenever I hear a train whistle? I get a little nostalgic, maybe it’s just homesickness for my childhood? A simple longing for the days when I didn’t worry about jobs and cars and bills.
I woke up this morning with a church hymn stuck in my head. I was raised Mormon. Up until I was roughly 9 years old and my parents divorced we all piled into the station wagon and attended church every Sunday. I mostly hated it. I was a busy little person who wanted to be out running around playing tether ball or four square – sitting in a chair for 3 hours was not my idea of fun. I’m not here to trash talk the mormons, really, all religions are just a little too creepy for me, but once my parents divorced we were singled out, and not in a good way. Kids weren’t really allowed to play with us anymore, even our cousins were just a little leery of the Alldredge kids – but I digress. The point is that we all eventually stopped attending and I’ve never been back since. That was 23 years ago, and yet I’ll still wake up with church hymns in my head. Very strange. So anyway, I fell asleep to the train whistle and woke up to I Heard Him Come. All in all, it makes for a strange day. And adds to the general malaise that has been pervading my soul as of late. It seems that no matter what I do or where I go there is some reminder of home, Utah. I ran away nearly 10 years ago – perhaps thinking I could escape the site of some major childhood traumas and that the wounds would just heal over. More recently I’ve wondered if I’m going to have to go back there to find myself. Go back there and face my demons in order to overcome them. Pick off the scabs and let them bleed anew. And damn if that don’t scare me.