Adventures with Strangers

Every doorway, every intersection has a story.

– Katherine Dunn

For three months, in my early twenties, I lived on a tour train that traveled between two national parks: Glacier and Yellowstone. We catered to tourists, offering them fancy meals and private porters, as we rode the rail. These tourists came from all over the world.

The paneled walls of this tour train oozed history, having been constructed in the 1930’s. Each cabin and galley shouted a multitude of stories.

One night, a porter saw reflections of people’s faces from an earlier time in the dining car’s windows even though the dining car was empty.

Then there was the time when I was walking from car to car and had the distinct feeling someone followed me, but when I turned to see who it was, no one was there.

Another time, while searching for fellow co-workers, me and a friend thought we’d heard talking in one of the cars and assumed we’d found who we were looking for. No one was there when we stepped into the car.

The hair on our arms and necks stood at attention. We looked at one another with wide, scared eyes. “You heard that too, didn’t you?” “Sure did.”

Ghosts? Yes. No. Maybe so. Doesn’t really matter, but I do know there are stories everywhere I go.

I went for a hike a while back with my husband, before the snow erased the trail, and as we trudged higher and higher into the mist filled crack in the mountain, I wondered who had walked before me. What were their stories? What did they know about this life?

When I wait at an intersection and notice someone walking down the street or driving their car, I wonder where they’re going and what they are doing.

I don’t know the answers, so I make my own. Before I know it I’m on an adventure with a stranger going somewhere I’ve never been before.

Stories are at “every doorway, every intersection.”

 

Originally posted May 26, 2015 on old blog. Reposted with edits.

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