Screams & Tears



Two long… one short… one long. Outside the window, the clouds fail at their attempt to make us uneasy. Too scattered to mount a coherent offense; their fluffy bottoms a wispy grey that doesn’t quite hide their whiter core.

Two long… one short… one long. A few rows forward, preoccupied parents seem to be avoiding all eye contact, as the two tiny humans they created attempt unlikely harmonies at 98 decibels. My parental memory database classifies these sounds as mere fussiness. “Let them wail”, I think to myself. “Don’t reward this amateur power play”, I think to myself. Of course, this is precisely the type of situation that, as a parent, I use to dread more than a root canal. The mere thought of my kids vocalizing their hunger, pain or simple displeasure while I have to face an audience of sixty trapped and weary travelers was enough to make me avoid trains and planes when the boys were babies. Now, with some distance, I still say… let them wail! It’s nothing a carefully selected playlist can’t drown out if need be.

Two long… one short… one long. This loud and repetitive warning announces the train’s imminent high-speed pass at your local railroad crossing. Continue reading “Screams & Tears”