Losing Time

I’ve been on this train for about 30 hours, but time has ceased to mean much. The meal service structures it somewhat, but just somewhat. For the most part I’ve just sort of … floated.

Normally such circumstances are torture for me. I thrive on structure and schedules and I don’t do the just-sit-there-and-stare-into-space thing very well. And I’m not good at waiting for anything. At all. Ever. But today has been quite relaxing for me.

I got more work done than I planned to yesterday so I didn’t feel too terribly pressed to write as much today. I’ve written some, but I’ve also looked out the window a good deal. There’s no Wi-fi on this train so I’ve only briefly gotten online when I’ve had a strong enough cellular signal to tether to my phone, but that hasn’t been often. I’ve read some. I’ve listened to music. Mostly I’ve watched North Dakota and Montana go by.

Or not go by. The train was stopped near Wolf Point, Montana for close to two hours early this afternoon due to a track obstruction. Even minor flight delays cause me aggravation, but being at a dead stop in the middle of the prairie that long didn’t bother me a bit. We’re something like three hours behind schedule overall, but I don’t care. I don’t have anything pressing that I’m at risk of missing and I’ll get there when I get there. All of this time out here in the middle of nowhere is a feature of this trip, not a bug. A delay here and there almost feels like a gift to me.

At a time when our jobs and families require so much planning and structuring and even our vacations are scheduled to the nth degree it’s important to just get lost sometimes. To just float for a while. So far doing so has cleared and quieted my head. And that’s almost as important to my writing as the actual writing is.

Craig Calcaterra

Craig is the author of the daily baseball (and other things) newsletter, Cup of Coffee. He writes about other things at Craigcalcaterra.com. He lives in New Albany, Ohio with his wife, two kids, and many cats.

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