« Seattle Is DoomedRobert Doumar »
08.12.2002

Rachel Wants Smaller Breasts

I'm sitting in an Amtrak train at the Albany-Rensselaer train station, watching the passengers climb on, and I can't help but wonder how much of Rensselaer's economic depression is due to Rensselaer being so damned hard to spell. Only God Himself knows how many companies decided to move their headquarters from Rensselaer to Schenectady or Albuquerque, just to avoid having to spell their address out to customer after customer on the phone.

It's cell phone paradise here on the train, now that we've rolled into the I-89 corridor down to New York City. I already know more than I ever wanted to know about Rachel across the corridor, Rachel who is contemplating a breast reduction ( although after sneaking a glance some minutes later, I can't say I see the problem), who has a boyfriend and a job and an inability to spend more than twelve hours away from both without a series of elaborate phone calls to help her rejoin the civilized world.

It's a beautiful train trip straight down the Hudson valley to get from Vermont to New York City; the first half goes through woods and somewhat blighted towns from an industrial past, with the occasional incongruous billboard in a cornfield, and then all the rest of it tracks the wide and placid river, crossing it here and there, apparently at random. The Hudson is wide and still a little wild, at least in the sense that green things grow along it. All up and down the river there are big boats and little boats, and water skiers, getting progressively more numerous as you approach the outer boroughs. And then everything grows dark and you are under Manhattan.

« Seattle Is DoomedRobert Doumar »
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