Word Count: 499
Time Waits for No Man
By Peg Scarano
The driver, taking us from Positano to Rome where we were catching a train at noon, was late. The roads on the Amalfi Coast are treacherous and he was googling Little Falls, NY on his phone while he was driving. He explained to us how to find the correct platform for our train by looking at our tickets. As we were leaving, he took my hand – I thought for a romantic Italian kiss. However, he just turned my diamond ring around and whispered, “Watch out for the gypsies in Rome.” That was thoughtful!
We found our platform easily, got on the first car and sat in our assigned seats. We had to stow our luggage overhead, but since we were on a 10 day trip, our suitcases were not carry-on size. Poor Rock. Several minutes later a man came over to the three of us and in broken English, explained to us we were in the wrong seat. We showed him our tickets and he pointed out we were on Coach 11 and we needed to be on Coach 4. Apparently our driver forgot that tidbit of information.
Rock hauled down our suitcases and we headed towards the front of the train. Halfway through Coach 10, I determined I couldn’t do this anymore. The aisles were plane-sized and we had these huge suitcases we had to lift over each seat and there were people everywhere. We turned and got off at the back of Coach 10. As I looked down the platform for Coach 4, it seemed to be at least three city blocks away and the ornate clock informed us it was 11:56 – four minutes to departure. At least there were no people on the platform as the three of us took off at a full run dragging suitcases and purses.
Rock arrived first. Emily looked back and yelled, “Hurry, Mom!” I was finally at the door of the car, but my strength and adrenaline were depleted. I could not lift my suitcase one inch above the ground. Em left her suitcase teetering on the step, grabbed mine with one hand and my hand with her other hand. Rock snatched Em’s suitcase to get it out of the way. When I reached the second step, I crushed Emily’s toe. As she howled, the door to the platform slammed shut behind me. It took 30 minutes to get my breath back and for Em to conclude her toe was not broken.
Trains are not like airports. They wait for no man or woman! On the bright side, Coach 4 was first class. The aisles were wide enough for the luggage. The storage area was under the large, plush seats which were easy on the butt. The train traveled at 180 miles per hour. It was so quiet and smooth, it seemed like we were in a movie theater watching the Italian countryside glide past our eyes. Adult beverages were free. We woke from our nightmare and entered dreamland.