A Goofy Train Ride

Fiction Kitchen Berlin 2020

 

Barely missing my train in New Haven for New York, I ran to the parking garage, got my car, and zipped onto the turnpike heading for Bridgeport, passing two stops in between. I made it with five minutes to spare.

I entered the fourth car down, which is my car of choice, ever since I read that the first three cars are the most dangerous for passengers in any train wreck.

I settled in on a deuce, tossing my backpack on the seat next to me and took out a book but fell asleep midway through the first page. The conductor shook me awake at Stamford and I reached for my wallet to give him my credit card and it was Goofy all decked out in train gear and speaking like Goofy. I haven’t watched cartoons since they stopped showing them in theaters right after the newsreels, but that Goofy voice came right back to me.

I was mesmerized and pinched myself like I’d read in books to see if I was still sleeping and I wasn’t. We pulled into Stamford and a loud lisp asked me to move my backpack so he could sit down. As I was moving it, I saw Donald Duck smile his big duck bill smile and say thank you while spritzing me with duck spittle. I couldn’t take anymore and held my backpack and went back to sleep.

I woke as we were leaving the 125th St station for Grand Central and noticed the duck was gone and there was a regular conductor walking through the car. ‘What a weird dream,’ I decided and looked around and the car was filled with my high school classmates and teachers – all orderly, mostly grey haired, and a mess of canes and walkers. I remembered the reunion notice for my 45th reunion and decided that since I’d never been to a reunion, and there was no one I particularly wanted to see, there would be no sense in going to see New York via a private tour bus.

I didn’t want to talk to anyone from high school so I went back to sleep and only awoke when Goofy in his conductor’s outfit shook me awake and told me I had to get off since I’d been sleeping ten minutes after pulling into Grand Central. I got off the train thinking that I ought to see someone about these hallucinations, but just thinking about it made me fearful.

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