On A Train

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In the morning everything is grey, and kissing you near the harbor now feels like a month ago. I could not tell you everything that passes by in a train window. Make a metaphor about growing old, talk about how everything blurs together, how the decommissioned Arby’s sign and that man behind the warehouse both stand out in the long run. 

I think about taking trains through the south, take a train to the Atlantic. Sit for a week and write about riding a train. Get circular, get smart, start to sound like no one besides yourself. I only need one really good piece to move me from here to there, that other place where writers live. 

We chug through Simi Valley, all brick and mortar and a park or cemetery near a synagogue. By the time June comes the purple Jacaranda will be green again and look like every other tree in Southern California, which is to say while they are still a relief, they are more a reminder of of what I am missing. 

Somewhere in Montana a tree falls. 

We chug through the unwanted outskirts of Los Angeles-  towns I’ve never heard of. It’s an industrial cornucopia. The woman sitting behind me has a black and white cat named Langston. I assume named after Langston Hughs, though I don’t say it. Langston likes to hide in the pantry and sniff Clorox. He goes crazy for the smell. And I’m worried he might die, though I don’t say it. She tells me she is exceptional at Sudoku. When I tell her I’ve never played the conversation is over and she regards me like the stranger I really am. 

I am going to take a road trip through the Gulf and I am hot and uncomfortable just thinking about it. I will write it as it happens, not after. I’ve come to decide there is something diluting in the time that passes between. Curious to see if we can bottle up the heat as it happens. The woman behind me is now telling someone else about Langston and in this version he is missing his two front teeth, and I hear something desperate in her voice that I couldn’t detect when we were talking. 

Even though we have just finally got home, I am thinking about going somewhere else , about going farther and farther south. I want the heat to confuse me and the humidity to blur my vision. I want to see an alligator in bathtub. I imagine it will always be like this. Traveling forever in a circular direction, one of us always going. I am a boomerang to you, if I go it is only to come back again to the foggy harbor in which we kiss.