Most people, normal people, sane people (read: people unlike myself) usually hate to live near train tracks. They hate the sound of the train blowing its horn at all hours, the rumble of the tracks. Now, I don't want to live in a shanty next to tracks, so close my whole house, excuse me, shanty shakes every time a train barrels by. I'm not that crazy.
But I love the sound of trains. I think it's because my little cousin lived somewhat near tracks when we were kids and after oh so many nights spent in little girl sleepovers, I not only got used to the sound, but was comforted by it. I loved being at Lindsey's. It was a happy place for me. So the sound of trains takes me right back to that comfort. I now live in a place where I can sometimes hear trains and it's something I hadn't heard in many years. But if I can't sleep or I'm stressed, hearing a train melts all that away. It's crazy.
Just now, I was feeling a little overwhelmed and exhausted. I'm mired in several projects both personal and work-related and feeling a smidge in over my head. Feeling like I'm just one person and good god what I would give for a clone of myself to follow me around and share my load and anticipate my needs. Because that's how good of an assistant I'd be. Hell, I am a kickass assistant. Combine an anal retentive need for organization with this laugh and you have assistant perfection.
Incidentally, I don't think it's a coincidence that the word "ass" is in the word assistant. Take that how you will, but I think being a bit of an ass is a necessary ingredient for a fantastic ASSistant.
Where was I? Oh, right! So I am the best at supporting others, but who the hell will anticipate my needs, handle my organization (as well as I can?)? Who will keep ME sane?
I was in the midst just now of that reel of overwhelmedness (like that word I just made up?) running on a nonstop loop through my brain and I heard a distant train blow its horn. And just like that, it was gone. I didn't feel all crazy over whel med anymore. I don't feel any better about all the things I need to do, but I just wasn't thinking about any of it. It was all gone. In the wind. Just like that. Comme ça.
Like magic. Now, I don't normally talk of the magic of childhood, though I do believe that's a very lovely and real thing. But I mostly don't feel my childhood was very magical. I had a sucky ass hard fucking childhood. But there are some things that stick out palpably from pure childhood happiness: the scent of chlorine in the morning (I spent most of my happy times at a pool), the feel of plastic (like Barbies or Legos or Thunder Cats), the smell of old books and the feel of their worn spines, the taste of vanilla, the touch of newspaper print (from reading the paper with my dad), the sensation of freshly clean sheets straight from the dryer, the feel of a dance studio floor under bare feet, the texture of a horse's muzzle, the sounds of a kitten's tiny mewl, a hundred songs from musicals I performed in or sonatas I danced to or eighties pop stars I emulated, that salty sandy layer that coats your feet at the beach, the smell of pencil shavings and a brand new eraser, or the sound of trains.