Waiting For The Evening News Essays

1080 Words Dec 14th, 2013 5 Pages
Jordan Roberson
Ms. Pichon
ENGL 2110.03N
14 October 2013
Innocence or Ignorance Tim Gautreaux introduces Jesse McNeil, the main character, as a drunk running a locomotive. Although Jesse is intoxicated, he was “charging up the main line at fifty with the chemical train, rattling through the hot Louisiana night like a thunderstorm” (Gautreaux 327). Gautreaux tells us that “he had roared through it a thousand times with a hundred cars of propane and vinyl chloride”, “it” being the same old route he was used to (Gautreaux 328). Even though Jesse is no rookie when it comes to carrying a dangerous load, he is still riding on a rolling bomb. The author tells the reader “he reached for the whistle lever in the dark cab and missed it,
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This was no longer the same old routine for Jesse. After seeing the flammable tanker detach from the train, “Then he knew the train was breaking apart, the rear section running in like an accordion and here he was in the dark woods at the edge of town, more than half-drunk, witnessing a catastrophe that would have happened even if he had been stone-sober and riding the rails with a Bible in his back pocket” (Gautreaux 329). The author lets us know that the wreck wasn’t exactly Jesse’s fault. But the mess gets bigger as “the first chemical tanker exploded, pinwheeling up into the night sky, slinging its wheels and coming down into a roadside 7-Eleven, the building disappearing in an unholy orange fireball” (Gautreaux 329). In awe of what just transpired, Jesse found himself running away from the growing explosion. Since Jesse was in shock “He ran until he had no wind and his heart pounded like a fist…and when an old pickup pulled out of a side road and drove north toward him, he stuck out his thumb” (Gautreaux 329). Considering Jesse’s disbelief, running away from the wreck must have seemed like the rational thing to do at the time. He decided hitching rides to New Orleans would be best, “thinking that if he could get away long enough for his system to clear of bourbon, maybe he could tell the company officials that he’d had an attack of amnesia, or anxiety, or stupidity, and had run off like a fool to sort things out for a day” (Gautreaux

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