Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Last train out

Maybe it's the unearthly shade of red in the evening sky or the rumbling sensation below your feet, but something tells you that this time it's for real. You take inventory: what needs to come, what can be carried, what has to be battened down or left to fend for itself. Things for the road, in case...

Some people aren't budging. Take no notice, get it done. It's too late for those arguments now.

All the things you never got to: papers to organize, phone calls to make. The peonies that should have been divided years ago. Little regrets. Nothing for it.

You should have done it last year, you should have done it years ago. Maybe it's too late. No matter. Just get on with it.

In the end, one suitcase and a cloth bag with some food and a thermos. You think you must be forgetting something, but it seems to matter less with every moment that goes by. The cold feeling when you lock the door. Don't look back.

Along the road, clusters of travelers, some rushing, some hesitant. Familiar faces, no time for chat. Caught in a funnel. Momentum.

At the station, little formalities that now seem quaint. Less of a crowd than one thought. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe it's just a false alarm, after all.

As the train pulls out you don't look through the window, but the whirl around you leaves you suddenly weak at the knees. Jostle through the aisle and into a seat. A sip of cold water to settle you.

Later, passing through unfamiliar country, the grief drains away. Nothing but weariness now. What was it you forgot?

No comments: