In my early 20s I worked at Mobil gas station in Syracuse, NY for a year or so. Six nights a week, Wednesdays off.
Night crowd is a different crowd than daytime crowd. Eventually people would just come in and chill. We talked.
Brian and Natalie were one couple that kept rolling through. Eventually they would come over few evenings a week, for couple hours. They said it was like going to a club, meeting people.
Besides it got them out of the apartament.
I asked Brian what else he does to relax.
He said: ‘I watch trains.’
I said: ‘????’
He told me how when he got few hours, he likes to go to the spot right outside the city. Some kind of a bridge or something with a railroad tracks.
He would sit down and just wait for a train to pass by.
I asked him:’What’s so exiting about watching passing trains?’
And while he could not say exactly what it was, he said he likes this feeling of one car connected to the other..making the sound as they pass him by.
As the train passes by, he knows that another one will show up soon. And he likes that waiting, relaxing..knowing what’s coming next.
As the next train cames, and then the next one, and the next.. at some point he feels as if it all slows down and he is able to see every detail of the passing car, the number, the windows, graffiti. And always the sound. The rythmic rattling.
He goes: ‘You know what I mean?’
I go: ‘A client just came in. Be back in a minute.’.
Client paid for gas, bought a pack of cigarettes and freshly roasted peanuts.
I went outside and we continued talking.