“I’m Riding this Emotionless Train As Far As It Will Go.”

Posted on February 9, 2011


Jimmy, a very dear reader, left a comment that struck me as gold. Not the “life is a series of punches to the face” comment, although it certainly can be, but the above title, “I’m riding this emotionless train as far as it will go.” This statement struck me because I rode this train for a long time, and while we are riding, there seems to be no limit to the trains length or speed. There is an ending to the tracks, a moment where the train is utterly derailed, and that moment is never predictable or logical. It is simply a moment that comes along and if we are prepared we can handle it. If not, it may kill us. The “emotionless train” ends. Eventually.

I’m in the process of writing the book now, head down, pen to paper, typical writery-writer shit. Anais Nin said, “The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but to say what we are unable to say.” The role of this writer is to try to connect to the feelings of my childhood, to relay a story without becoming defined by emotions, my job now is to talk about my past and my history and myself in a way I never have because I’ve never been connected to my past and my history and myself. I asked Sarah how to connect with the words we write if we cannot connect to the thoughts we think. I’ve been riding Jimmy’s emotionless train for so long, have become so accustomed to watching life pass by while I sit quietly in my seat, listening to the clatter and clack clack clack of the metal tracks, occasionally looking up from a tasty book to see the big world whizzing along.

How does one begin to connect to the memories we’ve forbidden ourselves from? How do we look back and experience something for the first time, something we’ve ran through our minds so many times that the thread holding it all together is weak and tired? Sylvia Plath mentioned something about self-doubt being creativity’s mortal enemy, but am I doubting myself or my memories? Can memories prove to be a valid source of…. anything? Can I ride the emotionless train past my memories and step off when I come to something good? Only bad? I’d like so much to feel the memories I am writing about, but I can’t seem to locate the emotion in my body.

So this is the process of writing, this internal search for something stickier than something else, word salads and ham sandwiches, emotionless trains from here to there with weak and tired thread keeping my seams together.

Posted in: Good Days