Tuesday, June 02, 2009

From The Archives Of Memory

(Picture by J. Cruder)

An event from my teenage years resurfaces in my mind from time to time as if it were hard coded into my memory:

This event occurred one summer day when I was probably 13 or 14 years old. I had walked to the far end of town and was hurrying back home for a reason that I cannot now remember.

As I approached a train crossing, the warning lights started flashing and the protective gate came down across the road and sidewalk. I stopped and observed the freight train; straining to see how long it was in order to make the mental calculations how long that I would have to wait for it to pass.

Observing it more closely, I noticed that the train had slowed down considerably and that there was a large space in between the front and back wheels. According to the calculations of my teenage mind, if I ran and then dropped and rolled at just the right time, I would be able to get to the other side and continue my way home.

I watched a few more freight cars pass to ensure my timing was just right and prepared myself mentally to go through with it. In my mind I was absolutely convinced that I would successful.

Unexplainably, however, I froze before I even began to attempt it. I just stood and watched as the rest of the freight cars passed and the protective gate opened once again.

To this day, I am thankful that I didn't go through with it since something now tells me that had I tried, things would have gone horribly wrong.


At June 2, 2009 at 5:18:00 AM EDT, Blogger NoReply said...

I too am really glad you froze... because I would have missed out the joy that reading your blog has given me.... and that I think would be a sad thing indeed.

At June 2, 2009 at 9:37:00 AM EDT, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

Ahhhhh, the invincibility of youth – I have often wondered how things may have turned out, had I made different decisions at specific moments (of course, “what if” is usually a waste of time – and the subject of many a tale – but it remains fascinating).

Looking back, you’re surely right in your relief, but what was your feeling at the time?

At June 2, 2009 at 12:31:00 PM EDT, Blogger Neil Harris said...

Do you recall what was going through your mind when you "froze"?

At June 2, 2009 at 12:36:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Chabakuk Elisha: I felt relief then as well!

Neil: I had the feeling of terror when thinking about being crushed to death by the steel wheels.

At June 2, 2009 at 3:49:00 PM EDT, Blogger Jack Steiner said...

Yikes, that could have been really ugly.

At June 4, 2009 at 4:05:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Michoel said...

The Ribono Shel Olam held you back


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