The Red Suitcase Adventures


A view from the south of the pier at Manhattan...

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Everything
was ready, my suitcases packed,

My itinerary
and tickets in hand,

This was to
be more than a visit to see friends,

It was an
adventure, you understand?

 

The train
station was beautiful even at night,

Clean restrooms,
high ceilings, tiled floors,

Indoor restaurants,
this was high style,

I couldn’t
ask for anything more,

 

Train
changes and bus accommodations,

It looked
complicated but something I could do,

I would take
one destination at a time,

And
gradually work my way through,

 

I must have
appeared slightly confused,

For an
attendant asked, “Where are you going?”

“I’m from
the Midwest and I want to be warm,

In California
will it still be snowing?”

 

“Go to the
last car,” she said with a laugh,

“I think you’ll
be warm enough,

When the
Express gets us close to the coast,

You won’t
find the weather so rough,”

 

I threw my red
suitcase into the luggage bin,

Next to a
dozen or more,

They all
looked very similar,

But there
was no other place it could be stored,

 

I climbed
the narrow stairs and took my seat,

And placed
my overnight bag overhead,

I wondered
if the travelers wanted to talk,

But they
turned aside instead,

 

As the Santa
Fe pulled away from the station,

My
excitement was difficult to keep in,

But most of
the passengers had gone to sleep,

I decided to
read, and tomorrow I’d sleep in,

 

The bouncing
of the train, the tell-tell noise,

Each part of
the experience soon became the whole,

I dozed in a
semi-frozen state,

But I could
not ignore the cold,

 

By 6 a.m.
many of the passengers headed for the lounge,

Hot coffee was
foremost in their minds,

They were
oblivious to the landscape,

Endless and
uninhabited, it was one of a kind,

 

There was
too much noise, how could I rest,

Yet across
the aisle from me, two young men slept,

Each curled
up in a blanket snoring with zest,

And behind
them was an elderly man, who wept,

 

“What’s
wrong?” I queried, “What can I do?”

He looked at
me squarely and wiped away his tears,

“When my
wife died of cancer five years ago,

I promised
her I’d travel each and every year,”

 

“Sometimes I
fly, sometimes I take the train,

But I always go to her favorite places,

And out of
nowhere there are people,

Who have
very familiar faces,”

 

“Martha
always travels with me,

Even if she’s
just here in my mind,

We spent
fifty years together,

And she
still is the best friend I could find,”

 

Wiping away
tears he said,

“I must have
gotten something in my eyes,”

He was
embarrassed by his sudden emotions,

Refusing to
admit that sometimes he cries,

 

My attention
turned to the two young men,

“Where are
you going and where have you been?”

“We’re headed to L.A. for a ‘Battle of the
Bands,’

If we show
our talents we’re sure we’ll win!”

 

“We were in
Madison three nights ago,

A producer asked
us to play at Manhattan Beach,

It was
across the country and days to arrive,

But we decided
it was not out of our reach,”

 

One broken older
man with a spirit guide,

A band
searching for money and fame,

And me
looking for adventure and writing it down,

This trip
would be exciting, like a reality game!

(To be
continued)

 

 

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7 thoughts on “The Red Suitcase Adventures

    • I think I”m trying to do too much. I have two more episodes of the coin. The Red Suitcase is a lot more fun though. I’ve ridden a few trains. This adventure was over a month’s time of traveling and stopping as I went from KC to CA to WA and back down to CA and across to Chicago and then to MO again. I met some interesting people. You would have enjoyed it, although while traveling on the train there are not all the comforts of home.

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