It was just like any day for Carl Zimmer. He was on his was to a business convention in Silicon Valley. As always, he kissed his wife goodbye, and told her he'd be back in a few days.
"You never know how long these conventions could last," he said.
"Well, hurry back, dear. I'll miss you."
"I'll miss you too. I'll be home as soon as I can." And with that he rushed out the door.
Carl hopped in his Jetta, and sped on towards the train depot. Carl loved traveling by train; there was just something about the old way of travel that facinated him. He didn't much like airplanes anyway; he had this irrational fear of hights ever since he was a little boy. He hummed along to the radio along the way.
An hour later Carl arrived at the train station. He checked to make sure he had brought everything with him, his coat, hat, his briefcase, and the many books he'd need to read for his convention.
"A round trip ticket to Silicon Valley," he told the attendant.
"One round trip ticket to Silicon coming right up." The attendant turned around to take the ticket out of the machine. "Your train leaves in 30 minutes. Platform 4," she said.
"Thanks." Carl wandered around for a bit; he didn't want to get onto the train quite yet. He paused by a nearby Coke machine. His trip there had made him thirsty. Carl dug deep into his pockets to find some change for a soda. He put it into the machine, and pushed the button for a Sprite. Unfortunately, nothing came out.
"Damn fucking thing," spat Carl. He tried kicking the machine, but all that got him was a sharp pain in his foot and dirty looks from nearby passengers.
"Train 204 heading to Silicon Valley is now ready for boarding," boomed a voice over the loudspeakers. Carl gathered up his belongings and meandered over towards the train. He handed his ticket to the conductor.
"Welcome aboard, sir!" said the conductor cheerfully.
"Yeah," replied Carl.
"Please check with First Mate Linda to find out which cabin you'll be staying in."
"I told you not to call me First Mate!" shouted Linda.
"Sorry, but I find it really hilarious that you actually served on a ship," apologized the conductor.
"Yeah, well, no need to announce it to all the passengers!" She turned to Carl. "Your name sir?"
"Zimmer. Carl Zimmer."
"Welcome aboard Mr. Zimmer." She scanned her list. "You'll be staying in cabin 133. Here's your key."
"Thanks." Carl walked along the very narrow corridors of the train. "133, 133," he thought to himself as he went along. "Ah! Here it is!" He put the key into the lock and turned. What Carl faced next, no one could have expected.
There, in that tidy cabin, in the closet, hung a man with the exact countanance of Carl.
hmm... not exactly the way i wanted it to end, but it'll do.