Author: Kyle Stark
“C’mon,” my friend said (fall of 2016), “you can’t tell me you didn’t feel anything.”
"I did feel something,” I said.
“Oh yeah? What’d you feel?”
I paused, “Honestly, I couldn’t tell ya.”
“Hell no. Did you of all people just ask me that?”
She laughed and paused.
I continued, “I honestly don’t know what to say. When it came down to it I just went…have you ever heard the quote that ‘it only takes 10 seconds of bravery to change the world’?”
“Well I don’t know if I got that right, but the point is, if you want to do something big, you have to choose, act, and whatever you do, don’t think.”
“Okay. But you still haven’t told me what you felt.”
It wasn’t real until the train started pulling out of the downtown Chicago Amtrak station. When I was at the local train platform, I knew what I was doing, where I was going, and even though the same platform I’d seen all my life was more extravagant than it ever had been before, there was still a fingernail of a thought in the very back of my mind telling me that it was just another trip to the city.
I refused to ask myself why. I ask myself now, but then, it was a mystery that I felt the normal excitement of being downtown at my fingertips as I reached for a cigarette, and stepped into the daily rush of downtown Chicago.
All Chicagoans, young and old, short and tall, slim and brimming are avid sprinters when it comes to crossing the street. One reason is that they have somewhere they urgently need to be, and the other is so they don’t get hit.
The Amtrak station was across the street, and the street was clear. Even when I checked in (myself and my backpack) and picked a seat, the reality of the situation hadn’t yet come to me.
I was just sitting there too. It was almost disappointing to not have any rising nerves to relish. I wanted tsunamis, and the Amtrak station only offered a food court. All my thoughts to myself; and there wasn’t really anybody I could talk to either.
There was a guy around my age sitting next to me that was on his way home to Carson City, Nevada (if I remember correctly, may have been Reno) but he was one-worded as hell. There was also an older man on his way to Vegas sitting in front of me but I couldn’t understand what the fuck he was saying. He seemed excited though. He was wearing a black button-down, dark blue jeans, black leather boots, gold chains, gold attitude, purple shades, white teeth, and a sharp, wide smile.
I told him I was on my way to California, and in his 2 minute response, I only gathered that he’d been married at least twice.
Where’s the fucking train?
Kyle Stark is a cultural fiction and travel writer from the Chicagoland area, and he has also spent time living in the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest.
He published his first book “Five Stories and Nine Poems” on Amazon.com in November, 2016, also available to Kindle Unlimited Subscribers. He is currently studying the world of Islam. This includes Islamic history, faith, figures, culture, customs, government, law, society, as well as current political and social issues. See more from Kyle at www.kylestark.net.