Thursday, December 23, 2010

"She's Leaving Home"

The West Side Train Yards - soon to be luxury high rises.

Before the rare purchase of that car, it used to be trains, subways or a Greyhound were the only way out, that is if we had to leave.

Airplanes were as exotic as suddenly living in a Hollywood movie. Beyond imagination. So we didn't imagine. Unless there was a death in the family in a very far away place like California and then only one of us got to go only once.

But besides death, the annual trip to Philadelphia to see aunts, uncles and cousins was about it.

After reading that Bach had lived and died within 60 miles of his birthplace I swore to my mother or my sister or my dad that I would never do that. I was going to go far and away and die some place that proved I had left.

Those train yards and those trains look like what my feet could do if I had kept my promise.

4 comments:

Goggla said...

My family never left the city where they were born, so I decided I'd travel the world. So, here I am, 3000 miles from where I was born and I hardly ever leave the island. The world is smaller these days...maybe everything you ever needed or wanted is within reach.

Bucko said...

It's the sound for me of trains in a station that means travel, even subway trains that screech and pull away and rumble out of sight. The look of the crisscrossing tracks in your pic always means travel, people crossing paths and finding their way despite.

Alana said...

My family never left the city they were born in either. I remember when I was little I took a class trip to my homestate's capital and the tour guide gave the percentage of people who never left the state. I decided then that I wouldn't be one of them. I also told my family I had no intentions of staying there. They told me I would never make it anywhere else and lo and behold I proved them wrong :)

City Of Strangers said...

Maybe 20 years ago, I worked with men in London who lived just a few blocks from where they'd been born, who'd been across the city exactly once, to visit relatives in some far flung region to the North, who couldn't even imagine traveling to a foreign place. How exotic that seems now - I'm sure with London's demographic shift over the last decade or so, even these men have left their neighborhoods.

Since I started moving when I was eight months old - I'd been through six separate school systems before I was 15 - I don't really know what it's like to have grown up in one place. Or even to have lived in one place as an adult. The longest place I've lived in, by far, is Brooklyn which is funny because I don't even like Brooklyn that much. Or rather, I like it as part of this entity called New York.

I still get that longing when I see the trains pulling away though . . .

T.