'get on anything that moves.'
that was our plan upon entering the trainyard, under cover of darkness, carrying a bag of water, vegan chocolate cake, and, as we would find later, a lack of warm clothes for the chilly desert morning.
the idea was to leave the city - the rest of the details were simply left to fall as they may.
a couple weeks before, i had lost my journal. an unzipped pocket on my bicycle pannier revealed an empty space where the journal was usually kept, and by the time i noticed its absence, i realized that it may have been anywhere between the wharf at the peninsula's edge and the mountain that i had begun to climb. i spent the rest of that ride thinking desperately of what had been inside that journal...
when the train pulled out, it followed the curves of a river. a river in the desert. a river whose end destination was not the ocean - had never been the ocean - but an inland lake. from its banks grew trees. i sat atop the edge of the car we rode in. the warm dry wind blew against me and the lights of industrial installations pierced the darkness for as long as it took for the train to emerge from one mountainous mantle and barrel into another.
...first kisses and vivid dreams; nights spent outside in the desert where i had awoken to my water being frozen solid; touching the coat of the buffalo that had succombed to the winter's harshness, realizing that she had chosen one of the most beautiful vistas in those mountains to finally lie down; the confluence of the two rivers at the edge of the spanish town that had been where i sat while figuring out what to do when everything else in my life at the moment felt upside down...
on our backs on the floor of the traincar, only the night sky visible above the box-like walls. she would let out an 'ooooh' each time a shooting star would fly overhead, and when i asked her if she made a wish on each of them, she said she couldn't put into words what it was that she desired and instead, just let the feeling exist on its own. i understood.
...the portraits of strangers; of small towns; of moments...
i've since wondered if maybe it was some kind of sign. that maybe i should give as much to the present - always - as i sometimes give to the past. that events and sensations all have their ongoing effect and influence even after they're forgotten. that maybe in the future i should at least write a phone number on the inside of my journal.
in the morning i opened my eyes to a sky that bordering on light. the train was still moving, rumbling and screeching through a landscape we could only guess at. but i climbed back up atop the corner of the car, holding on tightly for all the jerks and jolts. the highway in the distance had only the occasional lights of a passing truck. and the fiery horizon that reveals a world in transition, the upside down time as seen by only a few trespassers.
words are given authority - over memory, over expression, over the fluidity and mortality of moments and time. and even the best strings of words do not sufficiently describe a sensation. as cold turned to heat, cobalt night to azureous light, and we continued on - to where we did not know. not speaking, but knowing, and leaving everything else to fall as it may.