Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Waiting for the train to come

April 2, 1980

It begins, a slow, steady stream of air, breathe! Heart beats. A memory occurs:
I am standing at the station waiting for the 7:30 train. It is morning, dull and close, with a storm in the air, heavy and hot.
The train is late. It is always late, always arriving there just after the buses for town have gone, and I wonder why they (the buses) never wait.
They always leave with a puff of smoke and a sudden lunge forward.
I want to scream: “I see the light!”
But I don’t see the light or the train, only the imaginary look in her eyes. I just want the buses to wait.
I don’t want to have to huff and puff the four miles over rutted roads full of mud and rain – rain which has stopped for the moment, but I fear will return just as we’re too far from anything to take shelter.
But I don’t shout. I just watch the buses leave, their fumes taking longer to fade than their memory.
Then the rain does come, slow and steady, dripping off the cracked brown rafters of the station from the leaks in the roof.
The tracks shimmer like silver threads stretched out into eternity.
And I stand near where the roof drips and stare out along the rails, searching the growing mist for some sign of light.
I am waiting for her face to appear, a warm angel rising out of the cold rain to rescue me, not certain if I am in the middle of a dream or not, feeling my heart flutter.
I still feel breathless for having run all the way here only to wait, dust fighting inside my chest to keep from turning to mud.
I feel filled up with dust and rain, I watch the rain turn the dust on my shoes to mud, and then wash the mud away, washing away the bitterness of life, and then the misty rain turns to real rain, and pours down on everything, blotting out the world, shaping it all into dream, and I wait for her to arrive by train, a train whose light I cannot see in the distance, yet a train I know must arrive, so I wait and wonder, rain dripping over me, turning me into mud, and then into something else, cleansed.

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