gall and gumption

Saturday, April 05, 2008

I Love to Ride the Train

No, seriously. I LOVE riding the train. Going to New York on the train, well, I suppose those two very Washingtonian-looking folks across the aisle are all jaded with riding the train to New York. They'd probably think I'm a naif. As long as they don't think I am the person who complained to the guard about the loud conversation they were having in the quiet car...

Fine with me. Did I mention that I love riding the train? I get happy on a train. I do not know why. I don't feel this way about planes or cars. Only trains.

You could have me blithering on like this, or you could let Tolstoy tell you all about it.

Still in the same anxious frame of mind in which she had been all that day, Anna took a meticulous pleasure in making herself comfortable for the journey. With her tiny, deft hands she opened and shut her little red bag, took out a cushion, laid it on her knees, and, carefully wrapping up her feet, settled herself comfortably. An invalid lady had already lain down to sleep. Two other ladies began talking to Anna, and a stout elderly lady tucked up her feet, and made observations about the heating of the train. Anna answered the ladies in a few words, but not foreseeing any entertainment from the conversation, she asked Annushka to get a small lantern, hooked it on the arm of her seat, and took from her bag a paper knife and an English novel. At first she could not get interested in her reading. The fuss and stir were disturbing; then, when the train had started, she could not help listening to the noises; then the snow beating on the left window and sticking to the pane, and the sight of the muffled guard passing by, covered with snow on one side, and the conversations about the terrible blizzard raging outside, distracted her attention. And after that everything was the same and the same: the same jouncing and rattling, the same snow lashing the window, the same rapid transitions from steaming heat to cold, and back again to heat, the same flitting of the same faces in the half-murk, and the same voices; and then Anna began to read, and to grasp what she read. Annushka was already dozing, the red bag on her lap, clutched by her broad hands, in gloves, of which one was torn. Anna Arkadyevna read and grasped the sense, yet it was annoying to her to read - that is, to follow the reflection of other people's lives. She had too great a desire to live herself. If she read that the heroine of the novel were nursing a sick man, she longed to move with noiseless steps about his sickroom; if she read of a member of Parliament delivering a speech, she longed to deliver it; if she read of how Lady Mary had ridden after the hounds, and had provoked her sister-in-law, and had surprised everyone by her daring - she, too, longed to be doing the same. But there was no chance of doing anything; and, her little hands toying with the smooth paper knife, she forced herself to read.


Yessiree. I love that "getting all comfy with my book" part. And I know that Tolstoy would have totally dug having an AC outlet right by his seat for his laptop. You know he would, too.

7 Comments:

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I'm delighted you rode the train to NYC. We loved seeing you.
--BSMO

 
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