Reading the Trains

When approaching or leaving Spokane by way of I-90 and Sunset Hill, you will often see a train or trains crossing over the freeway. It is a lovely vision of steel and cargo traversing the skyline.

Moreover, you can read a forecast of your fate for the day in the coming and going of the trains.

A train moving towards Spokane as you are leaving, or departing Spokane as you are arriving, indicates opposition, contradiction, challenge. You must alert yourself to devils and natural disasters and bumps in the road as you continue on your journey.

Conversely, a train departing as you are departing or arriving as you arrive indicates harmony. You can count on the way unfurling smoothly before you, pretty girls smiling at you, dogs wagging their tails at your approach.

Occasionally you will see one train leaving and one train arriving simultaneously. This is a sign of cross-purposes and ambiguity. You must be discerning of your choices and pray for wisdom in choosing the right path as you continue your journey.

It is an extreme rarity, but it can happen that two trains arrive or leave simultaneously. This is a sign of power, but it is not simply a quantitative increase in contradiction or harmony. There is a qualitative difference, a transcendence, indicated by the doubling of the trains. A religious vision or dark night of the soul could be indicated. You might die or have a transformative experience as you continue on your way.

And if no trains at all appear, you can count on the usual miasma of everydayness. You must slog on through the invisible fog. Remember you are a pilgrim traveling through a strange and broken land.


  1. I think Rufus is getting out of hand with this sign business. In fact, I know he is.

    Here’s why:

    I came into Stockton along with a train once to fight a smoker. Got beat. Pissed blood for three days.

    Came into Redding, CA once while a train was leaving and met a tattoed moma in a bar. Kept her drunk and happy for a week.

    Came into Salt Lake City while two trains were entering town and nothin’ happened. Sat in the Greyhound station and watched one of those little TVs for a buck. Just passin’ through.

    Events are to signs what truth conditions are for propositions and execution conditions are for commands. I figure.

    Cyde Ullmer,
    Walla, Walla, WA

  2. Rufus McCain says

    Clyde, the reading of the trains is a local phenomenon. In Spokane, there’s a vortex (or something) created by the twin trestles that cross over the freeway and the river. You can’t try to apply this to other towns and other trains.

  3. Quin Finnegan says

    Incredible. I guess that means literally, but I still have to say it: incredible.

  4. Jonathan Potter says

    I drove to Spokane from Cheney today and as I approached Spokane, there was a freight train just sitting there on the inmost trestle over the freeway. Not moving. And it was so long I couldn’t tell which way it was pointed. What does that mean?

  5. Rufus McCain says

    Constipation, consternation, confusion, stalemate.

Speak Your Mind