This week I was biking from a friend’s house when I realized I was about to get stuck on the east side of town by a train. Refusing to give up easily (I was on the way to the bar so obviously it was important that I get on my way) I headed a little farther south where I was able to ride parallel to the train tracks for most of the way. That’s when I realize I was riding next to a circus train. Plain as day, it had Ringling Bros. written across the side of it. I have never noticed a circus train before. In my apparently out of touch mind it should look like this:
Now, I am not a fan of the circus. There’s pretty much no way you could talk me into going. I only remembering going once as a child and finding it equal parts bewildering and frightening Also I remember great snacks. (I am a person that can always be won over by snacks.) As an adult I realize that large, majestic animals don’t belong on trains or as performers. These are animals that should be roaming African safaris not performing for families across America.
I digress. Regardless of all I have ever felt about the circus when I saw that train go by I was completely enthralled. I could see into the dark rooms which were people’s homes. I could see a girl putting her hair into a ponytail. A young man sitting in front of his computer, the glow illuminating his face. Two young guys were standing between the cars, leaning against the rails with their drinks, watching Austin go by. They said hi and gave me the nod as their train turned north and I continued on ahead. It was this strange moving picture, each car giving me a glimpse into their lives. From just a glance into their windows, they looked like anyone and like their homes could be anyone’s home (more like anyone’s dorm room) and yet they live in a way that’s so hard to fathom. Constantly moving, seeing America in slow motion in the least glamorous areas, performing everywhere you go but never gaining any recognition, never getting rich. Must take a special kind of person. You can interpret “special” however you see fit.