Monday, February 12, 2007

travel writing (1)

i don't have much to say today, so i thought i'd share an old travel essay that i wrote. the story narrates my crazy adventures in italy during the spring of 2002. on the whole, i'd say the essay is an unpolished literary belly flop. however, it's humorous and true...

Minding the gap, I pull myself aboard, struggle through sliding doors as they close, and shimmy onto the platform. I ping-pong from wall to wall toward the next seat. Boarding trains with a forty-five pound pack is like playing human pinball. The advantage to train travel may be its ease—the conductors and crew appear to do all the work—but for a novice traveler, things are never as easy as they seem.

To my credit, I maneuver clear of fellow passengers—or they from me—flop my pack onto an empty seat, and slide across to the adjacent bench. With considerably less exertion, other riders take their seats too: scruffy olive-skinned men in slacks and open-chested flannels, women cradling the fixings for tonight’s pesto surprise, and a couple of intellectuals with noses buried in books. Everyone looks tired. It could be the weather; I’ve never known somewhere so humid. Where else can one make small talk like: ‘looks like another sweaty day.’ I’m melting, and maybe everyone else is too. Or perhaps everyone is aggravated at this American and his bulky pack—he’s certainly tired of it—filling an entire seat and muttering to himself in some foreign dialect.

[continued on the 17 pointscale appendix - let me know if you followed this link and the text colors, size, or formatting seem obnoxious]


Matt Basinger said...

you left me hanging!!! Finish the story man, before my head explodes!


andrew said...

sorry, dude, the whole story won't fit!