The train kicked and crawled through town. You could hear it. You could feel it. Vehicles lined up at the tracks. Red lights blinking. Arms down.
In a minivan a few cars back a family of three sat waiting. Dad cursed the train. Mom patted him on the thigh. The little boy counted as the train slowly went by. He read off names on the train; Union Pacific, Great Northern. Saw graffiti too. Drawings of stick figures. Kilroy was here.
Dad turned on the radio. A song called Main Street was playing. He thought of a stripper doing a floor dance to the Seger classic. He used to go tip her fives and tens when he got paid till the money ran out. He’d walk out with his head down. Back to his minivan.
Mom just looked out the window. The obese woman sat there looking. Looking at nothing in particular. Just looking. Wondering, has he always been faithful to me? There was a time when she knew he was. That time had passed.
Suddenly the train stopped. Wasn’t going no where. Stalled. You could hear the brakes. A man climbed up and over to the other side of the tracks. Dad said, look at that nigger. Look at that crazy nigger. Just can’t wait can he? Mom lit a cigarette. Opened the window. A cool autumn breeze blew.
And the train began to kick and crawl through town again. The arms went up. The red lights stopped flashing. People drove over the tracks.The little boy kept looking back. Just looking back.