Raining Embers

I woke up late at night in Autumn’s bedroom due to the most horrible machine noises I’ve ever heard in her neighborhood. The racket that startled me from my sleep was a constant high-pitched whine mixed with severe grating, like metal on metal. Before I got out of bed to investigate what the hell was going on I carefully leaned over to look at Autumn. She was sound asleep, didn’t hear a damn thing. Autumn usually stuffs foam plugs into her ears before crashing out at night. The noise from passing BART trains bothers her, she claims. When Autumn and I started seeing each other the first few times I stayed over at her apartment I noticed BART trains bugged me too. Didn’t take long for me to get used to them though. Now I kinda like them. Each time BART comes into the neighborhood it reminds me of a peaceful rush of wind, or the sound of a wave breaking on the beach. Every once in a while a train will come through with a squeaky axle on one of the cars and it sounds like shit. That doesn’t happen often though.

Slipping from underneath the covers I got up and let myself out of Autumn’s bedroom. Carefully closing the door behind me I crept through the livingroom and peeked out of the front windows. Whatever that god awful sound was, it echoed through multiple city blocks. The night air was still and calm which makes sounds carry an especially long way here. Sometimes noises bounce off the hill or echo from that derelict Emporium Capwell building in the adjacent strip mall. I didn’t see anything from the front balcony view so I scurried into the kitchen and poked my nose into the windows there. Nothing unusual. The sound was louder, like whatever was causing it came closer. Switching back to the livingroom windows I looked out towards the BART tracks and saw something. I could just barely make out a dark silhouette slowly creeping along the Southbound track.

A special kind of track maintenance car eased out of the station platform and as it did so, a steady shower of bright gold sparks rained down on a jogging path below. The track is probably three stories above ground level. I was motionless, transfixed by the beauty of thousands of glowing embers falling gracefully to the pavement. Watching it for a few minutes was worth the annoying nuisance of being jarred awake by all that rowdy noise. I guess that car must have been grinding the rails to keep them free of rust, or something. For a moment I thought I should run out there with a camera to take some quick shots, but then I realized I left it at home again. I really need to get in the habit of bringing a camera with me over here. I keep missing out on interesting stuff. As soon as the track maintenance car was obscured from my view by an apartment building across the street I crept back into bed and tried to go to sleep.

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~ by factorypeasant on March 15, 2006.

2 Responses to “Raining Embers”

  1. Once in a while: 21,600,000 hits on google.
    Once and a while: 923,000 hits on google.
    The “ins” have it.

  2. that was a clever way of giving me a good hint, Wad. thank ye.

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