Stuck On The Tracks (SOLS) 05/31/2011
Craft Lesson: Creating a Dramatic Scene
Embarrassing Memory - Getting my car stuck on the railroad tracks.
I looked dubiously at my car wedged between two parked white whales disguised as cars. At six in the morning, snagging the space that hugged the rail track seemed worth the risk. The faint cry of the incoming train pushed away any hovering anxieties. In my defense, the space on the driver's side was open and whale-free.
Now, as twilight settled over the train station, i regretted my morning haste. Physics and solid bodies restricted any type of angling movement. My only egress: backing straight out, edging a bit over the train rail and then zooming off. I could not wait all night for the owners of these behemoths, I reasoned. Alas, I didn't zoom, glide or careen. The track clutched my immobilized car.
Don't panic...There is a way out. A strange calmness enveloped me. Think. You can't move the car. It is 5:50...the next train will be here in...ten minutes. You need to get out. Run and tell the station master to stop the train. That's it.
Except the station master questioned my story. He insisted on walking back to see the beaching for himself despite the looming arrival. Only then, did he radio the train with a warning. We stood together waiting. Fortune continued to be elusive as both the tow truck and the train arrived simultaneously. The tow workers found the scene hilarious. The angry commuters emerged from the delayed train and gawked at my stranded, humiliated Escort. I tried for a nonchalant stance while praying for invisibility.
Twenty minutes later, I trudged to the public phone with borrowed coins to call home. I had to hang up when my family's hysterical laughter drowned out my rational explanation. "It was the angle!"
The next day, I found myself named in the local paper as the resident who stopped the evening commuter rail.
A teacher and reader who wants to practice writing--despite being a procrastinator and one of the slowest writers in the world.