I lazily coasted on my bike at 3 AM, the emptiest hour of night, in the artificial glow of the iconic Lodi Arch.
I did not notice the train as it approached. The sound of it did not register with me. But I could not ignore the flashing arm of the crossing gate as it bowed upon the chariot's approach. A thought bounced out of the depths of my mind as I realized this train could deliver me to a place of peace that I had long been waiting for.
I wondered if I had time to catch it.
I jolted forward on my bicycle hoping to get to the tracks before the train did. I was too slow. I slammed on my breaks just feet away from the rampaging thing. I forced myself to stay just feet away from its line of fire. I forced myself to inch forward little by little as I experienced it's power and reflected upon what its strength implied. It was an excruciatingly long train. The sound of it was deafening. It was a horrifying combination of clanging and stomping. Rolling and screeching. Whining and wailing. Every thunderous stampede of a sound you could imagine seemed to be steam-rolled into one.
I backed away when I began to hear my own screams of pain that I would make upon boarding this train.