I love train stations. I know they are crowded and dirty but I love the movement and the people. I always harbor the secret sense that, like the song, I can walk up to the counter and order a ticket for the first train going anywhere.
I love traveling by train, too. I like the compartments, and looking at the scenery, the fields and trees and empty buildings and abandoned factories with broken windows.
I love looking at other passengers. The girl with the stripped stockings and huge black shoes reading a book in French. The man who brings his partner a drink that they ceremoniously prepare with soda water and lemon. Once it’s ready, they silently clap before the first sip. The family of four sitting next to us. I see the mother unpack enough food for an army: sliced apples with peanut butter, potato chips, sandwiches, drinks. The boy looks at the screen on his iPod, puts his feet up on the seat and moves to a beat I cannot hear.
When it gets dark, I look out and only see my reflection on the window – a ghost of my face, the orbs of my brown eyes looking back at me and a whooshing image of trees in the background as backdrop.