There is a train at the station. This train is comprised of many cars. There are several cars that appear to be having wonderful parties. People are drinking and laughing and enjoying themselves. There are other cars that are more sedate. People are sitting and conversing with animated gestures and intense faces. There are other people talking, laughing, and having a good time. There are dining cars with people sitting 2 or 4 to a table, eating sumptuous meals, drinking fine wine, and enjoying themselves.
I know I’m supposed to be on that train. I don’t know what car I’m supposed to ride in but I’m supposed to be on that train. It’s getting ready to leave and I’m trying to move but my feet are heavy and as much as I slog forward, I seem to make no progress.
A smoldering city lies behind me. The once vibrant, loud, beautiful, colorful, and sometimes overwhelming city is gone. Nothing remains but ashes. But if I take a sideways glance and look at it in a certain light, I can still see the skyline and the buildings. There were many happy times in some of those buildings. Maybe not all of the buildings. You can’t have good times everywhere you go, but for the most part, living in that city was a good thing. Good memories. Good times. But there’s nothing left of that city now and there is absolutely no way it will ever be rebuilt. The city is damaged beyond repair and I know that, but I don’t want to leave just yet. I want to keep squinting through the dust motes that dance in the late afternoon sky to try to make out the places I loved. The places I visited. I know they’re still there. I just have to go back and dig them out of the rubble, even if it’s just to touch a familiar wall or feel a familiar space.
People are waving at me from the train, motioning me to hurry up. I’m trying but I’m so tired. My feet feel as though they’re swimming in concrete and moving them forward is such a strain. And, I keep looking over my shoulder, hoping to catch a sign of life that I might have missed. Maybe I should stay here and dig through the rubble some more. Maybe I’m not ready to ride that train yet. I know I should get on but I keep thinking that even if I miss this one, another one will surely come along eventually. I don’t know when, but I’m sure it will.
I’m torn between the people who think I should already be on the train and my heavy heart. It’s all I can do to lift my head and look around me sometimes. How am I ever going to make my way to the train and function amongst all those people when I am so burdened? Who will help me put away my baggage? Who is going to want to hear me talk constantly about how things were before the city fell to ruin? How long will it be before the person sitting across the dining table from me will finally turn away and begin conversing with another person because I can’t speak of anything else and they tire of my conversation?
Perhaps it’s best for me to stay where I am right now. I’m sure I can salvage something to keep me alive until the next train comes along. Besides, I see a flickering light somewhere among all the ruins. I think I’ll go and look for it.
“The restlessness and the longing, like the longing that is in the whistle of a faraway train. Except that the longing isn’t really in the whistle—it is in you.”
― Meindert DeJong,
I enjoy reading and have blogged in the past about travel and books. My latest blog is a vanity blog. I write about whatever comes to mind, specifically, things I think I need in life. Hope you enjoy!