Jerome and Delphine were in town for a visit. Normally, they stay with us– we have a basement room that we finished into a bedroom suite just for them. But not on this trip; they were staying in a hotel instead.
One of the reasons was the great water they served at the hotel. I am no great connoisseur of H2O, but after tasting it, I can assure you, this was something special. Jerome insisted I take some home with me. We had a silver bucket and an empty 2 liter pop bottle we used to collect the water and take it to my house in.
So I was still curious why Jerome would choose to stay at the hotel. Sure, the water was great, but really, there had to be a better reason. He said, “Let me show you,” and he led me in to the back room. He opened the window, and there was the most incredible view.
It was sunset, and all the bold colors that go with it. Oranges, reds, yellows and peaches all poured through the window. The sky– what little you could see of it– was a deep deep blue, almost black. There was a lot going on out there, workers building buildings, shops selling produce, but the largest, most noticeable object out the window was just a few feet away. It was the tail end of a train. An old train, with decorative wooden cars. Cars painted greens and reds, trimmed in bright yellow. Cars that took you back to the golden age of railroading.
The train started to move out. Jerome told me that this was not on the normal track. The train went out this private spur to the mail railroad line. As the cars pulled away, I noticed our room was a car, too. We were being set up to be part of the next train. Someone I know, someone who was familiar to me was the engineer. One the other cars were clear, he started to pull our train up onto the siding.
Only there were no tracks on the wood stays. That was fine, our engineer was a professional, and he could deal with the situation. He had, many times before. The ride became very bouncy, and very noisy. As the bouncing increased, the locomotive was thrown off the timber and to the right side. The cars all followed. Eventually, we slowed and finally stopped, to wait our turn to go out to the mail line.
I was in the Senate chambers. I was there to watch the Senate recall, censure and remove one of their members. Everyone knew why. This specific Senator had crossed the line, and boldly so. She had done something so egregious that the outcome of the hearings was a foregone conclusion.
And so the hearing began. The accused got up to speak in her own defense. She spoke for only a short period, but she was surprisingly persuasive. She turned the chamber around. The charges were dropped.
I went up the street to have lunch. The recently-accused senator soon came into the same restaurant, with four of her friends. They were very loud and commanding. While they only spoke among themselves, they were on stage in there, performing for everyone. And they were pompous, and very annoying.
The woman who had turned around the hearing was quite firm in her conviction that, while the charges were true, she was so smart, she could beat them. To her, the outcome was a forgone conclusion because of her personal skills as an orator.
It did not take long for those of us present to turn against her. What had once been seen as a victory for the underdog, and come from behind win, was now seen as a hollow victory. We could now see what this woman was really like, and we were not happy. I discussed it with the woman next to me, and she said that there was nothing we could do. So true.
As I got up to leave, I had to walk around the woman senator’s table to get out. Just as I was passing, a light went off, signaling that Congress was about to reconvene. The Senators made me stop and wait for them to get up and leave before I was allowed to continue.
I woke up.