Saturday, November 11, 2006

I Don't Want to Be a Passenger in My Own Life


This week's Sunday Scribblings prompt is a quote from writer Diane Akerman.

The scenery is shooting by at an alarming rate. This morning I thought I would take a nice peaceful train ride. I would not have to think about the insanity of the highway, gas burning, the possibility of a debilitating crash. I did not want to worry about flat tires, oil leaks, engine fires. I boarded the train so that I would not risk a pebble flying at the windshield, a jack-knifed semi sliding across the median, triggered air bag, concussion.
Here I am in my safe cushioned seat, first class ticket, power outlet below me for my laptop, a conductor who comes to me for proof I have paid. I have paid. But we are moving too fast for my eyes to see what it was I wanted to see. I had desired scenery, a backdrop for my thoughts of life and death and the Holidays upon us. I am thinking of learning and children and cooking and health and I sought a pastoral view while I pondered this forest of ideas. Not a blur of shapes and colors. Not a continuous, nauseating smear.
This is not what I had in mind. Stop this train! I look around in a panic, but the other passengers seem comfortable,seem content with this rocketing speed. Up above me I eye the red emergency stop button and my hand trembles towards it. I don’t want to be driven if I have no control over the pace, the direction, the destination. This ride is not for me. I stand, staring at the button, and ask myself: Do I dare?

Prompt Part 2-
Favorite quote:
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work” Thomas Edison

17 comments:

Bug said...

Very nice! Is that based on something that happened or just pure fiction? either way, she's a good character. and I love that quote.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comment!
Likewise, I read all the stuff that you write to Bug as well. SHe is a good friend - we've been in a writers group together for 5 years!

I enjoyed this. I felt like I was on the train with you at the end!

And I love that quote! Who said it??
Don

Anonymous said...

Love what you did with your prompt ;-)- and the quote is fantastic. I'm going to print that out and paste it above my desk.

alphawoman said...

That was great. Push that button!!

Anonymous said...

They have power outlets on trains now?
Nice short piece, but I still envy you the train ride (imaginary or real).

Anonymous said...

Great suspense in the scene with the button. You really do build up from "la-la-la how nice and peaceful" to "OMG is she going to push that button?"!
Great quote!

Repeater said...

thanks everyone. Pure fiction, bug, though I guess we all know that feeling.

FatCharlatan said...

I've been a bad, bad MFA buddy for not writing more...it's been one of those months...I really like this piece. Fiction or non, it's extremely relatable. You capture the feeling perfectly. Here's another quote from Thoreau that goes along with this theme (I'm paraphrasing): The masses of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

Kiyotoe said...

Hey, too many of us walk around "thinking" about pushing that button but very few of us do it.

Push that button girl! Push it!
Life is passing us by and we refuse to push that button. (whew.....that might be deep).

No?

Repeater said...

Deep indeed, Kiyotoe

FC- we certainly have missed you, but I'm not exactly prompt in all this business myself. Life is complicated.
I like your paraphrased quote too.

Anonymous said...

BTW, I knew we were cut from the same cloth when we met, but further proof came when you said you cry all the time. Our husbands should form a support group for Hs whose wives bawl constantly.

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