I used to have a not-quite-phobia, not-quite-fear of trains. Let's call it an apprehension of them.
I could watch them on television – not that I ever would; they're trains, not entertainment – and I could travel on them with no real problem other than the standard sort that accompanies any form of rail travel in this country (South West Trains, I'm looking at you). But my general unease would manifest itself if I happened to walk near a track or cross a pedestrian bridge over tracks while a train was approaching.
There's this noise, you see. It's metallic and quite high-pitched, and it builds. It's the vibration of the metal rails and the air being pushed ahead of the approaching train. It's something eerie and threatening and, being industrial, it's unnatural which makes it worse. It doesn't help that I'm plagued with an active imagination (I'm picturing you completely naked right now) and half-thoughts of a derailed locomotive lurching and leaping from the rails and directly at me were commonplace.
I don't know when this apprehension faded exactly. At some point the rational part of my brain took control, gave me a mental slap across the chops, and told me to pull myself together. It's nice to not feel that mild terror when near trains now. The accompanying trauma of travel (South West Trains again) and other imaginative processes in my cranium (has anyone told you you look good naked?) remain in place.
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