Written July 21, 2017
There comes a moment in everyone’s life, when they find themselves sitting on a rail car, at midnight, at the end of the tracks. Well, alright, so not everyone has had quite that experience, but we’ve all found ourselves at a crossroads, and that is precisely where I find myself tonight. I am in fact sitting on a rail car, from a by-gone era, outside a post office, in the middle of a two-day steampunk festival, at midnight, in the birthplace of the American railroad. You can’t make this shit up.
It’s been quite an adventure so far. I am here by myself, which isn’t unusual for me. In fact, I quite like it. But this journey is different, and it’s proven to be exactly that: a journey. Who knew steampunk could be full of self-discovery? It’s as though I boarded an airship, only to end up on a steam train, and now I’m not quite sure where this adventure is taking me, but it’s too late to turn back. Besides, why would I want to? How many times will I get to vend directly in front of a running locomotive, and beside a steam powered fire engine from 1880?
It’s like, I’m sitting here on a warm, still July eve, on this caboose, in the middle of Pennsylvania, and I’m amazed! How did this happen? All in one night I made new friends, networked, explored a foreign town, meditated on a park bench in a locust grove, dipped my feet in a fountain, relaxed on a vacant playground, and walked the desolate rails…to find myself here, on this car, at the end of the track. Did I mention the glass of peach sangria and eating dinner beside a river? Well, I have now.
My life has intersected with so many others today. So many paths have crossed, and now here I sit, at a crossroads myself, contemplating life. I’ve had a lot of time to think in the last few hours…time to myself. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. How many more roads will intersect? How many storylines will converge? I don’t know, but that’s tomorrow’s adventure. I’ve had enough of one for tonight.
If I’ve learned anything from being a steampunk, it’s that it’s all about the adventure… and the aesthetic. Because I mean, let’s face it: we are the best dressed.
In a few moments I’ll shuffle off this caboose, wander down the tracks to my car, and slip into my cosy little nest. It’ll be like I was never here, and only the rails will know otherwise.
I now rest my pen beside my goggles and lift my allegorical glass. Tonight I drink a toast to tomorrow, and another to days long ago.