The Speed of Purpose | train tales

It was the fastest he moved all week. The train had already begun its forward momentum as he darted down the grooved, rubber-lined aisle toward the doors. He used to run hurdles in high school, but that was 20 years ago. Laptop bags and purses replaced the 42-inch high plastic bars he used to fly over.

“Please wait!” he squeezed out. But it was too late.

Trains don’t accept excuses.

Trains don’t wait.

His great misfortune, other than being six seconds too slow, was missing his stop on an express train. The train continued to sway and glide down the rails, passing stop after stop. Rush hour traffic crawled on the adjacent expressway as the train surged farther and farther from his stop and his waiting wife.

He stared out the window at each passing town. He began dwelling on the little moments that he could have changed that would have given him those extra six seconds.

If that conferrence call didn’t drag on…

If the elevator had come a little earlier…

If he was half a step faster to catch the WALK sign…

If he listened to the onboard announcement alerting the train’s impending stop at Clybourn…


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