This is part of something much larger. Thoughts, ideas, suggestions are greatly appreciated…
Sean, it’s time for you to go.
Stuck somewhere on a westbound Amtrak train in Nowhere, North Dakota; picking at my beat up Chuck Taylor’s. Not a fucking thing as far as the eye could see. I thought I’d been through some desolate stretches before, having grown up in the Midwest and whatnot. But this, this was something different. Not houses, not trees, not random beat up pickup trucks, not even farmland. Nothing. Oil country I’m told, but not even evidence of that dirty industry anywhere in sight. A dusty monotone of a landscape, extending forever. Just straight nothing. What a fucking place.
It’s not safe for you here anymore, and I’m not going to be another crying mother with her son in the ground.
I’d already read the cheap paperback I’d bought on the way to the station. My phone got no reception, and my music was dead. The other passengers in the observation car were only slightly more interesting than the scenery outside. Which left me with a computer, and my thoughts. What a terrible irony. Forced to be alone in my head the one time in my life when I could hardly stand myself. I need a drink. I need to be fucked up. I need to put my head through a window, or jump in front of this fucking train. What kind of mother sends her only son away from the only home he’s ever known? What kind of a person is that son, when he knows that she’s right to do it?
I bought you a ticket on the westbound train, it leaves at 11 tonight, and I want you on it. I don’t care where you get off…I don’t want to know. Just go.
She’d said that last bit with glassy eyes, trying hard to hold back her tears. I’ve been on this fucking train 18 hours already, and I must have replayed that conversation a thousand times. Not so much a conversation really, more of an ultimatum. Leave St. Paul. Leave your friends, leave your family, leave your job, leave your life. She was a hard Irish woman though, not far removed from the boats, and so the tears never came. She knows I’m well past the point of being told what to do with my life…and yet here I am, headed west.
I stared out the window at the nothingness, attempting to contemplate how it was that my life had come to be this way. The cabin door swooshed open, and I turned, more out of habit more than anything else. With my view being obstructed by the seat next to me, the first thing I noticed was the bright pink polish, topping off her tan slender toes. Barefoot, in defiance of official Amtrak regulations; but no doubt more comfortable than the rest of us. As she walked gracefully down the aisle, the toes lead up to tight blue jeans, and then a flat stomach covered by a hip black, form fitting tank top. Slender arms, and pronounced collar bones. A cute face with green eyes, and a hint of a smile, giving off just the right amount of mischief. As if perhaps she’s in a on a secret, that the rest of us are just dying to hear. A brunette ponytail flaring out from a navy blue Minnesota Twins baseball cap. In her right hand, she carried a brown paper bag, wrapped tightly around what could only be a bottle of booze. Perhaps this ride has just gotten a bit more interesting.