I just brought BNSF M-BAKBAR into the Barstow receiving yard, and dismounted from my engine with a sense of a job well-done when I saw her perched, expressionless on my monitor, her chubby legs tucked under her shopworn skirt, and her hands laying modestly on her lap. She was the very picture of relaxed collectedness. Men know that pose. The boom was just about to be lowered squarely on my head.
“Do you want to talk about this?”
“About what?” I said as blandly as I could.
“You know. It. Her. That.”
“The locomotive?” I tried again.
“Do I have to spell it out for you?”
Scrambling for an excuse, I settled for; “Oh! That! It is just an interactive sim. A computer simulation. Nothing serious.”
“You are more serious about your dammed computer game than you are about me!”
“It isn’t a computer game. It is a simulation.” I huffed.
“Whatever.” she huffed back.
“Besides, you haven’t been much help to me, lately.” I shot back, defensively.
“You’ve hardly touched me since you brought that into our life.”
“I have never touched you. You are a fantasy in my head.” I reminded her.
“You know how I like the way you caress the keyboard. You know. The way you caress the keyboard when you are playing with your … sim …” she said sadly. “We were so happy once. What happened to us? You don’t hardly go into your social sites anymore. I don’t even get to enjoy your interaction there. What comments you do make on your friends posts is so banal you would have been more respectful if you just ignored their posts. I looked back and it has been a month since you truly wrote. What happened to your commitment to that?”
I tried to mollify her with: “Look. The sim is just a new thing that takes time to learn. In time, things will return to what they were before. Trust me!”
“Trust you!? After seeing that satisfied smirk on your face, you want me to trust you now? My faith in you is gone.” She hissed.
I tried to reason with her, “I don’t see why you are getting overheated on this. It is just a computer game!”
“So you admit it isn’t a sim, but rather a stupid game? And you chose this stupid game over me? I’m leaving. I’ll be at mother’s when you come back to your senses.”
“Do you even have a mother?” I said to myself.
“I heard that, #$%!!. You could have had it all, and you picked your stupid game. See you later, loser!”
I sort of felt bad, but the nagging thought that earlier I had set out that cut of cars in the Yermo yard and used way more moves than was necessary. I should have dropped the train on the main, and just took the set outs on the head end into the yard, and then backed down the siding next to it for the pick-ups, then pushed on back to put them on the head end of the train. Maybe I’ll test that idea in single-player mode before taking that turn again.
I heard a door slam shut somewhere off in the corner of my mind.