Musings On The Train


Magnanimous? There aren’t words for this. I find myself wondering whether anyone else has felt this exact shade of feeling before. They must be capable, otherwise art wouldn’t work. It could only be a thing if we understood the same tints of the same feelings.

Take for instance, how I can’t remember what his back looked like without a shirt. This had at once been my favourite thing. The shock of your own indifference at the end of something you once thought was essential to your existence.

I lose my train of thought as the trolley lady offers me food and drink. I have a coffee and greatly inconvenience those around me as I try to throw out the milk and sugar packets. I keep the stir stick to chew on when I’m done with the coffee …the shock you feel upon realizing your own indifference. How do I capture that? A feeling within a feeling. We don’t have a word for all of these double feelings. For feelings about feelings. Only a shamble of singular words that when strung together only attempt to capture the raw magic of the actual moment.

I love public transportation with shocking compulsion – more than some people love their spouses. The lady across from me suggested we switch leg resting positions – we each stretch out our left legs, tucking our right ones in. I love the mixture of courtesy with comfort. How many places can you watch people sleep? And not have the person be freaked out by your presence when they wake?

I wonder if the guy sitting next to me took a peek at my paper. He’s awake now, playing with his phone. He has on hipster glasses. How egotistical am I to think that anyone in this car cares at all what is on this page? I’d be curious if I saw someone scribbling away, hunched over their work as if it contains something deeply private as opposed to the misguided musing about people on a train. I’m being too self-indulgent.

Another wonderful feeling for which we have no real words, and therefore no means of communicating is the sensation one has upon waking up in a public place to find that none of your shit has been stolen. Miraculous. One of my favourites.

I can tell I’m in a good mood because none of the songs on my phone are irritating me.

I fantasize about having enough money to live the rest of my life on trains. Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had have taken place on a train. Some of my favourite personal moments as well. Realizing the utter freedom of adulthood on a train, crying about my first truly horrible romantic mistake, getting drunk with Thao on our way to platform 9 ¾ after learning you’re allowed to drink on the train in the UK, the beginning of my first great emotional collapse, which, depending on my mood, I’m still recovering from.

I wonder if anyone nearby is having one of those indescribable train moments. No one seems to be. It’s hard to know for sure. I decide that the hipster sitting next to me is not, in fact, committed to the ways of the hipster because he has a Blackberry

All of us on board become distracted by the glory of Lake Ontario. The sleeping even wake for a moment. We must be capable of experiencing the same feelings. There’s too many unspeakable things.

My latest commitment. What will come of it? Pain, obviously, but I am not sure for who. Lately, my money is on you. Sometimes I can feel how much you’re feeling, but not what you’re feeling. I suppose it goes both ways. The night in the storm for you. Smoking cigarettes together in bed for me.

I always say I love you before I’m ready. Always. It’s not that I don’t mean it, I always do. But I’m not ready for you to know it yet. That point when I give over to you completely, and have you know it. Saying I love you is really saying: I’d do anything you asked of me, and simultaneously begging: ‘Don’t ask anything too terrible.’

I don’t expect I’ll say it to you for quite some time.