Friday, July 3, 2009

Train Car

The train car rattles on the parallel tracks below. The seats, the windows, the people, they all vibrate as metal makes contact with itself and glides a hundred bodies through the countryside. The deafening buzz of the train makes all conversation impossible and I give my body over to inertia as we speed down the tracks. I look out the window and gaze at the world moving by me. I shall not be passing this way again. The houses, that small dog, the boy on his bike…I will take their memories, committing them to vision, words, song. Outside, the day is bright with unrestrained sunlight. The clouds have taken the warning and changed their form, hiding from the heat below green leaves and soggy fallen branches. There is a jolt and I look up, discovering that I’m in a yellow-lit train car. I notice for the first time that the air is warm and stifling and I’m here, sitting on plush red seats. I look around me with a jolt of perception, five others share this yellow space with me.
I have been here before, I have seen this scene a thousand times. When I awake from dreams in the blackness of night I have the yellow light on my lips. Diving into the ocean, I see the woman eating her small sandwich across from me on her red seat. I have felt the heat coming in through the plate glass window, the buzzing drilling relentlessly through my bones. It enters my ears, vibrating my skull, shaking the red fibers that hold me together. These people, yes, the ones that sit with me…strangers to this body, strangers to time and language and geography, put together by chance and happenstance and availability. I've seen them all before. In dreams with dotted rainbows. In the leaves blowing in the fall, in the snow that drifts pass the edge of my softened mind. Yes, they are same... the same woman with her still wet hair, the smell of perfume clinging to her wrists and nape. Yes, the same square back of the man to my right. The same necks enclosed in ties. Exactly the same as yesterday, the same as tomorrow. Not a word has been spoken, in the yellow train car or in the open-aired station or the village market. Never a word shared, never an intimacy. I look for recognition in their eyes but not one glances up from their inner world. Their expressions as they fumble through their bags looking for change for the coffee cart, their stark woolen clothing and the man’s silk necktie, they remain unshaken.
It all seems so familiar, I know it, I see it daily, it comes to me in dreams. And still, my body is shocked by their forms, confronted with the reality of infinite realities. I entered the metal worm, entered with the memory of a rapid chamber that would deliver me through the opening of layered boundaries, passed locked gates and wooden fences. Tomorrow I will enter again. I will sit in the center seat and stare out the dusty window until I realize the yellow lights and feel the rattling train with my voyaging body and remember the people that share this small box with moving images floating past. Under the deafening buzz of the train, I give my body over to inertia.