I noticed train tracks next to the house I was in, with two branches that ended in front of it. I asked the owner how she could be sure the trains wouldn’t veer onto the branch lines and hit the house. She seemed confident that that would not happen, but I wasn’t so sure. When a train passed, it was uncomfortably close.
Another train came toward the house and seemed about to hit it on the other side. At the last moment, it went around a odd, tight loop in the tracks to avoid the house. For the train to go around the loop, its speed had been greatly reduced. I wondered if someday an engineer would forget about the house and the loop and to slow down. I marveled that anyone could live in a house with trains passing within inches on either side, with no right of way or grades. Yet they were not full-sized, modern freight trains, and I didn’t notice noise or vibration.
Life seemed to be a train wreck, waiting to happen.