It is not the silence when the train comes to rest that holds the terror--out on the high plateau of the Tehachepi. Not the indifferent wind sifting through the ashes. Nor even the long living amidst the outfall of such events for those remaining. It is the evidence of invisible intersections, star-crossed roads, nexus of unsuspected faults, the probability of earthquake. I re-arrange the lines of sight. There's something of California hope and longing and mistake in this story. George goes to the Tehachepi Station because he wants resolution, salvation, the outside chance. He makes a bad deal with the wrong people, or he makes the wrong deal with bad people. Or he doesn't have a choice. The infinity of possibility is one reason for the telling. The other is the journey you are making to the crossroads.