“Thank You For Choosing Amtrak. My Wife Just Left Me.” by Eric K. Auld

Apr 2nd, 2014 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Hello, hello, hello, folks! Hope you’re all swell on this brisk winter evening. This is the Amtrak 449 Lake Shore Limited train from Boston, Massachusetts to Chicago, Illinois. My name is Phil, and my wife just left me.

We’re about to get going in just a few moments. Stops for this train include: Framingham, Worcester, Springfield, Pittsfield, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Erie, Cleveland, Toledo, South Bend, Chicago, Alimony Payments, Custody Hearings, and a Big Fat Hole in the Space where My Heart Used to Beat with Nothing but Care and Devotion. Smoking stops are Albany, Syracuse, Buffalo, and Toledo, but you can also jam those cigarettes right in my eyes to erase the sight of her there on the living room floor with my office mate, Maxwell.

Bathrooms are located in the rear of each coach car, where you may piss away the memories of sixteen otherwise blissful years of commitment. The Café Car is located at the back of the train, where you may purchase snack after snack or several overpriced alcoholic beverages to shove down your grieving gullet. Don’t forget to bring your ID to prove your age!

The overhead lights on each car will shut off at ten o’clock sharp, but feel free to use your reading light to look over those divorce papers, or just tilt your seat back and enjoy some night terrors.

I will remind all passengers to occupy one seat only and leave adjacent seats open, as this is a sold-out train. Who knows? Maybe you’ll meet the woman of your dreams, call her up, take her out, establish a deep, personal connection with her for YEARS before she crushes your soul in an instant. After you get your ticket scanned, your conductor will give you a boarding pass, which you will then place above your seat. This will tell us where you’re going, so in case you’re sleeping, we can wake you up at your destination and tell you that we’re taking the car and the kids to our mother’s, and we’ll see you in court next week.

I’ll be coming around and I’m available to talk, if necessary. Maxwell and I used to have good talks at work. Nice, long discussions.

If you’re travelling to Chicago, be sure to bundle up. They don’t call it the Windy City for nothin’! It’ll blow away everything you’ve ever worked for, right before you hit all the dive bars in town and vomit in Lake Michigan.

Thank you for choosing Amtrak. We’re here to serve. Once again, my name is Phil, and if you need me, I’ll be in the bathroom.


Defenestration-Eric K. Auld 2Eric K. Auld is a writer, performer, and aspiring Nihilist out of Boston, MA. His work has been featured on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Guardian, Thought Catalog, and NPR’s Talk of the Nation. Follow him on Twitter: @erickauld.

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