I don’t know much about Union Terminal/ The Museum Center other than that it is a terminal and a museum center. But what I do have are memories; nothing substantial nor quantifiable but memories none the less.
When approached with the task of exploring the terminal for a Travel Writing assignment, I knew I wanted to do something special. My spin? Visit the museum center at night when all the shops and exhibits were closed and all that was left were the travellers seeking a getaway in the middle of the night, that last train going anywhere. I could see it now, I would sit in the grand hall of Union Terminal clothed in the ambient reds and yellows flickering down on me from the domed ceiling, it’s mouth locked open above me. I would be surrounded by the echoes of travelers past as they ricocheted around the terminal. I suppose I would have gone off on some lyrical adventure in attempt to manifest this idea of trapped memories and stories. I could even share some of my own stories like the time I went there for high school prom and won the vice prom-kingery.
But what really happened on my night at the museum? I got rejected at the door.
Apparently, no trains come through on Monday nights so the terminal remains closed, leaving those travellers stranded in Cincinnati.
So while I sit outside the terminal (which oddly looks like the Hall of Justice), I bundle up to fight the cold and write about my non-journey journey, all the while listening to a security guard playing on the organ inside.
It’s a cold night in Cincinnati. With only a couple hundred feet of parking lot separating the terminal from the city, its surprisingly and refreshingly quiet (aside from the previously mentioned phantom of the terminal playing his music of the night). No echoes out here.
The Terminal looms over me, its face is wide and worn down, showing its age by the small cracks and water stains scattered about. The ancient feeling of the building is marred by the neon-lit linings of the large clock that sits atop its brow.
This place tells a story, though it’s home to many.
It’s time for me to go. Over my shoulder stands the city of Clifton, lights and feelings of home flicker in the windows of familiar buildings set on top of the hill.
It would be nice to hear trains off in the distance.