A week later he’s in Zürich, after a long passage by train. While the metal creatures in their solitude, days of snug and stable fog, pass the hours at mime, at playing molecules, imitating industrial synthesis as they are broken up, put together, coupled and recoupled, he dozes in and out of a hallucination of Alps, fogs, abysses, tunnels, bone-deep la-borings up impossible grades, cowbells in the darkness, in the morning green banks, smells of wet pasture, always out the windows an unshaven work crew on the way to repair some stretch of track, long waits in marshaling-yards whose rails run like layers of an onion cut end to end, gray and desolate places, nights of whistles, coupling, crashes, sidings, staring cows on the evening hillsides, army convoys waiting at the crossings as the train puffs by, never a clear sense of nationality anywhere, nor even of belligerent sides, only the War, a single damaged landscape, in which “neutral Switzerland” is a rather stuffy convention, observed but with as much sarcasm as “liberated France” or “totalitarian Germany,” “Fascist Spain,” and others. . . .
The War has been reconfiguring time and space into its own image. The track runs in different networks now. What appears to be destruction is really the shaping of railroad spaces to other purposes, intentions he can only, riding through it for the first time, begin to feel the leading edges of. . . .