Friday, September 25, 2009

Little Train Ride

Have you ever tried riding the train? No, not the usual train with big black chimneys, angular carriages, and angry metal tracks that lay cold against the ground. I’m not talking about the packed metro transits either. I’m talking about the train you can find inside the mall. That bright colored little ride with no tracks to follow, no smoke that bellows from its black painted chimney, no deafening sound that freezes people from where they stand. A miniature train with rubber wheels and a man driving from inside the little locomotive. A crude little ride that’s nothing of value. I wish I could end this with last sentence.

I’ve had my fair share of train rides in the past, and I’m talking about real trains that puff. I’ve never tried that little ride we usually see in the mall. I’ve always thought that it was too small to hold such a big man like myself. In fact, I thought it was too small to hold anybody at all. Every time we hear its loud bell from a distance, we already know that it’s coming our way. Actually, we were always blocking its way. It always has its route and if you’ve seen it a couple of times, you’d know where and when it would turn around. A nuisance in a wonderland of boutiques and apathetic shoppers. That’s what I’ve noticed most of the time.

With a collection of toddlers and mommies that this little train has I seldom see a big brother, a father, or an uncle on it. So I asked myself why not? I’ve done almost everything that I could do for the day that a grown man could do. Why not try what little children do for a change? I eyed the bright little bell that hung from its main locomotive, or what seems to be the locomotive – from the black dotted side of it I could see a man seating inside. It’s must be really hot in there with not enough space to move a leg. I held the cold railing that kept passengers in strict order. Children were already behind me. They must be wondering why I would line up with them. I sighed at the tiny little carriage with small metal doors wondering how on earth I could fit myself in there. My hands akimbo I released from myself from my buts and whatnots. I squeezed inside the bright colored little carriage. My knee almost touched my chin. This must be what the man inside the locomotive feels. Oh, good Lord!

As the rubber wheels began to roll, I sat in the little train thinking about what good it may bring me. We passed by people and shops with people in them and shops without people. Some eyes turned look, some minded their own business. And as the tiny little train began to turn and rung its bell I began to notice that some people were looking at me. They’re probably wondering why a big man squeezed himself in this miniature contraption with rubber wheels, bright carriages and a black chimney we liked to call a train. Or maybe it’s the fact that it has carriages and a black chimney (sans the rubber wheels) that people think it’s called a train. Oh, and a grown man with his knee almost touching his chin.

We stopped from where we started after a round. It was just one round of train ride. The worst has passed.  I began to think of reasons why I rode the tiny thing. Research was the best excuse. Nothing beats experience in research. As I got off this tiny train with rubber wheels and a chimney I tried my hardest to realize something. I was hoping for an epiphany. My legs were numb from the unbearable ride and then I realized that it was worth nothing. It didn’t remind me of my childhood even. It was just a miniature little train with rubber wheels, bright carriages, and a black chimney that didn’t puff smoke. And I was a grown man who squeezed himself in one of those tiny carriages.

I walked away as the small train carried its new set of young passengers to and fro. Its loud bell could be heard from a distance. I haven’t gotten anything at all from the experience, only the eyes that asked me why. But you know, there are some things we ought to move on from. That is if you don’t want to be noticed for the strangest reasons.  One of them is riding small trains with rubber wheels and black chimneys. No puffs, no rubber wheels, no small bright carriages. I’ll ride the real train next time.

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