April 14, 2014 Omaha, Nebraska 12:24 AM
Just as Houston has no fall, many places have no spring. Western Iowa and Nebraska are covered in snow. The wind whips and swirls with ice.
Iowa was rainy and cloudy, pleasant weather to accompany a backwoods train trip. Despite being encapsulated in a bubble careening forward at 70 miles per hour, you and the residents watch the rain fall together. However small, there is a connection, an abstract coziness making you feel as if you lived at least one afternoon in this state.
Speaking of the Midwest, nearly every town seems to be mired in decay. Old billowing factories give labored heaves of stale smoke breath.
Somehow there’s still life and wood-frame houses. People cling to the life they’ve known. There’s a forlorn, despondent warmth that forces you to respect the integrity of a people willing to suffer through winter and weather the storm of deindustrialization. Paradoxically, these people seem to have it right, an anthropological “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude that preserves family and customs.
April 14, 2014 Might as well be January 2014–6:22 AM Akron, Colorado
I woke up after a few hours of restless sleep. The sun is hiding, but has left a brilliant pink remnant in the distance. The kind of glimmer that must help the poor people of the Dakotas or Alaska get through dark, cold days. It is white for infinity. Little thickets of grass defiantly poke their heads out their blanket as if to say, “Is it morning yet?”. The cold and the wind softly murmur “no”.
The West was supposed to spell promise, but all I see is snow-covered farmland. I knew that eastern Colorado was this way, but, selfishly, I expected the weather to bow down to my schedule.
The flat land is slowly giving way to a few upstart rocky inclines. Behind me, the sun has put its foot down and has finally broke through the tangled web of clouds that have chased our train since Indiana.
A few cows graze over the snow, taking the annoying white impediment in stride. There isn’t much a grazing cow doesn’t take in stride. Man has transformed this beast to a stoic machine.