Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Whispering Track.

My overalls were pulled up to my bosom, showing my orange and black striped socks as I waved the folks on the train goodbye. Bye folks! Bye! I miss you folks! I'm gonna wait right here for ya folks! I'm gonna wave and wave and wave and wave and my arm ain't never gonna get tired 'cause I'm missing on y'all and if I stay right here fo' long enough, I knows y'all gonna be back real soon.

A few hours later and I was still waving, long after the train had flown into the horizon, pressed between the palms of the sky and the earth. My upper lip was curled into a smile dense with hope, and my teeth were chattering as night slunk down to mock my gentle determination.

My arm was tired, but I thought I could bring them train folk back. If I just kept at it. Kept on waving.

I don't know how long it was, the minutes became hours and all them little pricks of light took their turn tittering at my optimism as they danced across the black curtains above me until eventually that Sun rose on up to rebuke and reprimand the night for being so cruel. The morning brought warmth and clouds and birds and together they chased the darkness from me, and held me until I began to grow warm and lazy. My arm fell. Heavy and sore. I was heavy and sore on the inside too, but I hadn't been waving on the inside. Or had I? I dunno.

I could feel my lip begin to tremble, and my eyes got all squinty. I knew they'd be making rivers if I wasn't strong about it. I never knew what was right with that. My mama said it was good to clean out the pipes of the soul, but I read on the papers the other day a man that died and he said, to weep is to lessen the depth of your grief. Good grief, how's a boy supposed to know what's what?

I just stood there, and the memory of the whistle was a sweet melody of farewell.

Sooner or later, I turned from that train, saw the green grass around me and started to laugh and I ran down that hill and I chased that doggy that lives on the corner, near Bob Evan's old Hotel, where my momma and he used to meet do the naughty, hahaha, it's true you know. I don't mind, I liked seeing her so happy. Even if that Bob Evans is a married man.

I'm a married man too you know? Don't look like it. But I'm married to my memories, and my hope, and the way my heart dances for what may be. Huh, now I know I don't look like much of a catch to y'all mayhap, and I've heard the things people say behind my back, about me, being not quite right n' all. But I know things. And I see things that people don't give me credits for. And I can do secret things. I can't teach 'em, but I can do 'em.

Like hearing the sweetest melody hiding inside the whistle of a departing train.

And if the folk on the train don't wave back, well that's just 'cause they've got no time to appreciate, no time to listen with their running off down the track, onwards, gotta hurry, down the line, destiny and all that.

I don't think I've found my destiny yet.

But I don't think it lay down that track.

I think it might be around here somewhere, with my momma's memories and the green grass and trying to make just one person get off that train and spend a little time with a boy in orange and black stripey socks.

Choo! Choo!

1 comment:

  1. The people worth taking credit from give you credits aplenty, and the ones who don't...? Well, they aren't worth bothering about. And when the ditherers stand there stunned and amazed with that stupid, "huh?" look in their eyes, they should know by then that they've earned it. Because they're dumb. So there.