So I’m more than half-way through the book. Ragged tassels mark the page. I fell asleep on the train again. So tired. So fucking tired. I get a letter from a friend. A really good friend. That scare you mama? I’ve got good friends. This one’s kinda special, though. It’s like we have a share of these things that occupy our souls. It’s not blood, but blood isn’t thicker. D’ you know what I mean? No, I didn’t think you would.
Where are we today? Well, I don’t know where the fuck I am. I fell asleep on the train. Took a look and it seemed ok. Some girl opposite reading a book. One in front on her phone. Some bloke behind. He lacked energy. So I rested my head on my bag and slept.
The train was empty. I like those best. “I Got a Feeling” in my head, I drifted out. Dreams came in. People and just stuff going on. The girl – the one on the platform – has seated herself along the carriage. Yeah. I roughly know where we are and outside the window it’s dark. There ain’t no world except these seats, the blue fluorescent light and rambling announcement that’s gone clean out of my head.
So I float out. Drift in. Dreams visit and disappear, fluorescence bleeds to scenes and things just keep on rolling along.
I feel the motion. Hundred tons jumping culverts. Flanges hunting for rails. Lulled to sleep then flung into violence. Steel torn. A tearing of flesh. Fragile life on a jagged edge. But still the phasing of wheels continues, like Short Wave. Signalling that disaster is only a second away.
I wake up and we’re slowing. The wheels sigh. I come round by and by and zip my bag. Ease from my seat and stand in a ghost world smiling at strangers (ignoring them once I know we’ve arrived – they do the same). Each day we repeat the game.
And now I join the invisible crowd, walking out in the rain. Lost among the lights and the cars. We meet in an aisle. Baskets filled. An imperceptible turn of the head. We might as well just say hello. But not in this town. Not in this land. After all, we’re only travellers. Strangers each and every day.
Out in the rain again.
I arrive home, closing the door. Read the letter and mark the book. Around me, the room is still. A Friday nght. Much the same as any other. One life the same as the rest. I pour me a drink and I sit on the sofa and try to think.
Copyright Kevin Buckle 2014