Don’t Resist The Conductor

image - Son of Groucho
image – Son of Groucho

The guy is running and screaming after the train but it’s too late.

He stepped off to get some fresh air when we stopped in the middle of a 26-hour train ride.

But then ten minutes later, the train pulled away and left him behind.

Everyone in the lounge car was laughing at him.

All his suitcases were still on the train. Maybe people he knew. But the train doesn’t stop no matter how loud he yells.

All these questions: how would he get his suitcases back? How would he reach his destination? It’s totally unknown now.

“You leave the train, the train does not leave you,” the guy next to me said and everyone in the lounge car laughed as we watched the passenger run out of steam and then disappear.

Too late.

“I’ve seen quite a few people think they are the conductor,” one guy said. “But the conductor is on the train when it leaves. He gives the orders.”

Do not resist the conductor.

I like to imagine that the train goes on forever. That the train is taking us to other dimensions and lifetimes and where the final destination is, nobody knows.

Everything passes by the train. The ocean, swamps, trees, burnt out houses, highways, factories, little kids staring blankly while they throw rocks.

The train keeps going.

At night the train blows the horn to keep animals out of the way and everyone tries to sleep but it’s hard. The train is shaking around and it’s a pleasure when you can shut your eyes for awhile and forget.

And when you open your eyes you’re in a new dimension. There might even be a whole new crew of people on the train. But you’re still here.

I’ve been off the train quite a bit. I’ve fallen off. I’ve been dropped off and forgot to get back on. I’ve gotten off on purpose because I thought I had reached my destination and I was done.

I’d fall off when I was anxious or filled with regret. When I was worried about the past or scared of the future.

Stop! There’s something I still needed to do.

Too late.

But the train is moving, tracks fork off, lights flash red and green, trees wave goodbye in the wind as they see us along our journey. My fellow passengers are all filled with anticipation for what’s next.

And we left 99% of our belongings where we came from. We never really needed that stuff anyway.

And all the people we knew. And all the people we will never know.

I want to be an explorer of time and space and new dimensions. I want to stay on the train for the whole ride this time.

I look out the window to explore everything that is new in the world for this split second. A film about nothing.

Maybe one day I’ll finally discover where we were going. Or maybe one day we’ll just simply never get there. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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image – Son of Groucho

James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show, which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated.

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