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by train

She looks out the window at the snowy landscape passing by and you start to wonder what she’s thinking about, whether she’s really happy being stuck in a cramped train compartment with you, whether she’s excited about spending Christmas together with you in an alien city, whether she’s actually meant all the things that she’s been saying.

You desperately want to believe her—who wouldn’t?—but you can’t shake the feeling that something’s not right and that there’s something she’s not telling you. You want to find out, but you know all too well that you had better pick your moment and choose your words carefully, or else.

That moment hasn’t come, and your words haven’t been chosen.

So you let it rest.

You lean back and try to find comfort in the pathetic, tattered cushions—burnt in some places, sliced open in others—that bear the marks of, you assume, nearly twenty years of service and abuse.

You rest your head against the rattling window, and, lulled by the monotone rhythm of the train on the tracks, soon begin to fall asleep, with all your questions unanswered and all her mysteries unrevealed.

While you sleep, she slowly gets up and walks out of the cramped compartment the two of you share, maybe to go to the toilet or maybe to find some food or maybe just to stretch her legs. She walks past other couples just like the two of you, locked in that never-ending struggle between man and woman, lost in their own little worlds, and she smiles.

Asleep, you never even notice that she’s gone.

She wonders when you will.

This is what you call a struggle against atrophy.

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Categories: prose and poetry
  1. Dec 8, 2008 at 17:01

    good one =D

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