Nov. 1, 2008
I don’t know how to begin this entry. And I don’t know how to write it, either. I can’t make it sound polished and smooth. I can’t tell this story like a journalist; it affected me too much. So, word for word and with an apology for its gruesome nature, I give you my journal entry about a tragedy that happened on the tracks today:
Early this morning, about 5:30 or so, our train hit a man. He was laying on the tracks.
The coroner is now, at 7:30 a.m., trying to figure out if it was an accident, suicide or cover-up for homicide.
When Karen, my seatmate, told me this morning, I questioned it. Just a train rumor, I thought, my skeptical, journalistic mind never quite ready to believe. Once I woke up a bit more, I realized it was true.
Now, as I sit in the lounge car eating a cinnamon roll and drinking coffee, a weird mixture of emotions comes over me.
Horror, as I realize we are going to be tonight’s bad news.
Sadness at the loss of a life, even if the man wanted to lose it.
Nausea as I try not to picture the scene in my head. But how can I not picture it? It happened on this train.
Anger at the people who make jokes. But I suppose that is their way of dealing with all this.
They have let people off to smoke and get some air. Even that creeps me out. How far back did it happen? Are there…pieces…on the wheels?
I shouldn’t think like this. I feel queasy. I feel like I’m the only person who has cried. I wonder why this bothers me so.
As the sun comes up, I can see people out the window of the lounge car. One woman walks as far away from the train as she can without being too far to miss it should “All aboard” be called. Many people smoke, huddling close together to talk. Some hold their coffee with both hands and simply stare at the steam rising.
One of the conductors walks by stiff and slow, like he’s exhausted, like a man worn down and cold.
Cops approach and everyone turns to look and listen, while trying to look like they are not looking and listening. No one knows what’s going on, but rumors are plenty: “I hear they’re still looking for,” one woman begins, her voice dropping suddenly. A man finishes her sentence: “His head.”
People are worried about making their connections but seem to feel guilty for their worry. A man was killed, after all.