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  • Writer's pictureJ J Hanna

Regarding the Train in the Airport

I had the lovely opportunity to travel through the DIA airport recently, and on my way I took the train. This reminded me of my thoughts about the train from my childhood. For example, I saw no reason why the train should not be fashioned after a toy train. Also, I saw no reason why the train should not take more entertaining routes when it was not carrying passengers. You can imagine my confusion, then, when I realized that I had indeed been on this plain and boring train, which in fact was solely functional and by no means entertaining, except for the automated voices that tell you which concourse you're at or to stay clear of the doors. As I said before, I was thoroughly convinced that the train took much more entertaining paths when it was not carrying passengers. Why couldn't it go upside down and in loop-de-loops on it's way back to the start of the cycle? I believed that the only reason it did not do that with passengers was because there were no seat-belts, and therefore it would be unsafe to travel upside down. But, with no passengers, why shouldn't the train be more like a roller coaster? I still remember waiting above the escalators at DIA to pick up one of our family friends from their flight. My mom had just received a text saying that they were on the train, and I asked, "What train? We have a train?" In my mind's eye I saw a brilliantly colored steam engine with teddy bears and candy; not the most realistic train, but I was young and I couldn't believe I hadn't seen this train from outside the airport, shuttling passengers from their plane to their friends. I was even more surprised when my mom proceeded to tell me that I'd been on the train. I figured I would remember something like that. Alas, I did not, and it took some very patient explaining on the part of my wonderful mom to help me understand what the train really was. Looking back, I laugh at these memories. They're silly, childish, naive. But they make me laugh, they make me smile. I wonder sometimes where that active imagination of mine went when I grew up. I guess it simply turned its path from whimsical teddy bear, roller coaster trains to the darker stories that I write; to kidnappings and wars, spies and rival agencies, assassins and the black market. It's funny how age changes you.

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