On the train ride home, I fall asleep and dream of eagles taking over the farm where I grew up, letting the cows loose and they roam. My family evacuates our home, and then we’re riding past a brushfire in a convertible bus until there is a roadblock.
Peach trees talk to me, saying, Find your way. Bristlecone trees wave, and then I wake to the choo of the train, seeing the trees like sticks out the window. The Hudson River. Snow-covered brushes resembling drumsticks.
The train is pretty empty. Unlike my ride to NYC. The ride back home to Buffalo is almost nine hours. I’ve missed the quiet of my home, the safety of my neighborhood. The comfort of my dogs. I recall my trip in the cop car the night before after the guy in the room next to me told cops I threatened suicide. I only knocked on his door to ask him to be quiet. I should not have knocked on his door. I heard his voice all week. I knew he sounded threatening. It was three a.m. and I just wanted sleep. He refused to be quiet. I said, Please. I guess the cops will come if you say someone’s threatening suicide. When the cops came to my door, they said I had to let them in. I asked why. I said I wanted sleep. They said they had to follow up. I said I wanted solitude. I wanted quiet. The two big men said they had take me in and they even put me in handcuffs.
It wasn’t my first time in handcuffs. I’m a small person. I was once falsely arrested by a cop who thought I was someone else. I told the cops the night before they were mistaken. I live a happy life. I spent the night at the ballet. I came here for my birthday.
The hospital did intake. I used to work at hospitals. I was a medic in the Air Force. I told the nurse it’s a mistake. I said, I’m pretty solid. I showed her my social media accounts. I showed whomever asked: my webpage. I said, Can you just take me back to my room? Tomorrow I’m getting on the train. I need to get back to my home. I own my own house. I have three dogs. I’m a triathlete, a writer. I’m a professional. A professor and a mom of a married army soldier.
I’m not always happy, but who is? I have a big line along my wrist that might suggest I tried to take my life once. I broke my wrist last year. I had a complicated surgery. Parts of that wrist are still numb. The handcuffs were so tight last night I already feel the bruises.
On the train, I dream more about the farm. I’m friends with all the animals.
I take a picture of the river. My dog-sitter sends me pictures of my dogs. They’re so obedient. I imagine them waiting for me, longing for me, wondering where I am.
They’re probably happy as can be, sitting for treats, waiting with their tongues out.