Oh Amtrak, how could you?
I thought that we had worked things out; I thought that we had arrived at an understanding. I would forgive you for your egregious behavior this summer on The Lake Shore Limited when you consigned me to a “deluxe” compartment with neither air conditioning nor working toilet. You would make it up to me, you promised. You would never disappoint me again. You promised, and I believed you.
I had faith in you, Amtrak. So, I held my head high, accepted your apology and a $1,000 travel certificate refund, and made reservations to go to New Orleans. All was forgiven; we could start anew. That journey in July, well, that just never happened. We could stand hand-in-hand and look forward. The past was past.
And now, what do I find? You have betrayed me again. You promised me a trip to New Orleans. Yes, you promised. I have it written down; I have an e-ticket with your name right at the top. And then you email me to say that there’s a problem. I should call.
My heart sank when I saw your missive. I knew that it wasn’t a love letter. And then I learned the news. I could ride as far as Atlanta. But then…. but then…. the truth came out. You weren’t going to continue to New Orleans. No, after you promised. I, you said, could take a bus. And, to add insult to injury, you told me to be sure to pack breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks I might want, for this express bus was not going to stop.
Really? A bus to New Orleans? After all we had meant to one another.
Well, Mr. Amtrak, no soap. A girl has to keep her dignity. If you don’t want me, if you would hand me over to a bus, I say, we’re through, all bets are off. Oh, I know you say it’s not your fault, and perhaps this time it’s not. But I’ve heard that too many times before. It is just too painful to continue with you. I must consider our relationship severed and I am under no obligation to remain faithful.
Oh, Amtrak, you have once again wounded one of your biggest boosters. How could you?
Cynthia Strauff, author of Another Sunday. cynthiastrauff.com