Posted by: tlnemethy | March 16, 2014

Move West

Migration is as much a part of my own history as it is American. I find myself always moving, always seeking out a new perhaps, even when I should be perfectly settled in my current grounding. The wanderlust is as close to an eternal love as many ever get. And how romantic is the notion of traveling west by rail? Sure, I won’t be hopping train cars or carrying a dirty bandana satchel on a stick, but I’d be experiencing the same railway sway, the same rumbling vibration that romanticizes the notion of staring out at vast landscapes you haven’t experienced before.

It’s the rumble that hooks you to rail travel, just as it seeps into your bones when you feel the vibration on a speedboat.

As a kid, I would sometimes lay on my side and press my ear against my father’s chest to hear his heart beat, to hear the gurgling of his stomach. It was soothing and yet completely fascinating because I could feel the vibrations of the sounds through my skin. With him it was just the slight hum of liveliness, but ever since I’ve been seeking out a specific hum that I haven’t yet found. You know that feeling when the power goes out and all the electricity stops running in your apartment or your house? It could have been perfectly silent, or so you thought, but as soon as the darkness took over you realized that you were missing that dull hum that constantly surrounded you. There are so few moments in our lives that we are completely silent that we tend to get used to the vibrations that surround us on a daily basis. I think that is why power outages are so thrilling; people are mildly terrified with the absoluteness of themselves, with their solitude.

For the past three months, I’ve been sleeping on the floor of my apartment, and not for any reason that I’d immediately understood. I guess, it’s because I don’t want to buy a bed. There’s something refreshing about being able to up and move without the hassle of transporting possessions. I’ve lived out of a backpack for some time now, a way of life that I am proud of. I can afford to buy one now that I’ve got a regular job, but I don’t want to be rooted like that. I miss the vibration. Down to the very quaking atoms I’m made up of, I am poised to move on, shaking in excited anticipation.

When I close my eyes in my dark apartment I can hear the rustling leaves outside, the whistling wind in the pines, and distantly, the sound of an approaching jetliner. Sound is a vibration that holds so much for my interest. Babies fall asleep to the rumble of car engines as their haggard parents drive through the silent streets. Somehow being so new to the planet, they already understand the rhythmic soothing vibration can bring.

I miss the flicking debris under my tires when I drive mostly dirt roads, the gentle swell of the dock as it follows the waves. Maybe, soon enough, I’ll be able to miss the metallic clack of a railcar as it journeys west.


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