I’m doing stuff on one computer while Malachi watches train videos on YouTube. Fortunately, some rail fans have been kind enough to upload their videos for the world — and for my boy and I — to see. I love watching him as he takes these freight trains into his little mind. He gives up blinking for the duration of the video, which is sometimes up to 4 minutes long. I’m wondering if I should mist his eyeballs for him.
Granted, watching it on a video isn’t as good as the real thing, which is why it’s so exciting when we actually see a train in Jackson. It’s always by happenstance and accident that we, the train and us, are in the same place at the same time. I’ve often looked around online to get some kind of schedule that indicates when the Norfolk Southern or Amtrak will travel through, say, Parma, but I always feel like I’m accidentally marking myself as a terrorist. “Why would he want to know the schedule of the Zephyr? It must be because he plans on putting a penny on the track. Terrorist!”
And now a memo to all government agencies: No worries! I just want to watch a train with the kids. And no, that’s not code. If you want code for watching a train with the kids, I could say “I want my offspring to breathe the diesel fumes” or something like that. Of course, I would never say that, not even in print.
As it turns out, it’s quite difficult to do fun things without raising question. I won’t even go into how it once was, back in the day when my parents brought me to Metro Airport to watch planes take off from the gate. We didn’t have tickets, they just wanted to show their kid -me- a good time. Sure, we went through a metal detector but that was about it. Everyone was cool back then and we even got to keep our shoes on. I think my mom brought shampoo in for some reason, and no one even batted an eye. Looking back, I’m wondering why she brought shampoo. It raises the question: is it my mom’s fault that no one can bring shampoo on an airplane?
I won’t be taking the kids to the Airport now. There will be no showing off of the new Tarmac or the 9 Seattle’s Best kiosks that reside in Baggage Handling B-2, at least not without a ticket. I’m not made of money! If I was, I wouldn’t be alive, since money is paper and cloth and contains very little protein.
There you go, Kids. That’s an Amtrak.