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My mind and body waxed and waned under the fan. The sound of motors trilled as they moved toward our house, then lulled off into the distance as they rolled past. A train in the cut beyond the woodline made its shift as well, high-pitched and seeming to hurtle toward my single bed, as if falling toward me, as if I’d become some mass attracting the noise of metal and the metal itself. My pulse fluttered up into my eyes. I exhaled hard whenever the noise rolled past, off toward some other target. I don’t remember what I dreamed, but Murph was there, Murph and me and the same ghosts every night. I don’t remember what I dreamed, but finally I slept.

1) How would you explain “wax and wane” in the first sentence? Does it mean he was tossing and turning?
2) What does “the cut beyond the woodline” and “made its shift” mean in the third sentence?

Additional Details:

In the second question, does "cut" mean railway tracks?

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    (1) "Wax and wane" literally means to grow larger and smaller (a moon waxes and wanes). While I am sure, reading the passage, that the author did have a sleepless night tossing and turning, my interpretation is that here he is probably saying that he alternatively felt hot and cold physically, and his mind tensed up and relaxed at various times throughout the night. (2) "A cut beyond the woodbine" is the author's poetic way of seeing the train "in a small opening through the woods." Finally, (3) in the sentence just prior, the author describes motors seemingly coming towards him and then rolling past. Likewise, the train seemed to come at him, and then "made its shift" by then traveling past him.

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