trains

#Fridayflash Some other platform

Do you remember that night in Crewe? Of course you don’t, you weren’t there. I was carrying you in a small space behind my chest at the time. It was like I had a second heart the same as Dr. Who. And I come from Gallifrey too. So far away, can never go back, the last of my kind.

I mean the station of course. Arrogant trains, electric snakes, never a sideways glance, so fast. They shook the platform and my hair went in front of my eyes. There was scaffolding up. Good job. Sometimes it’s needed.

Inside sleepy eyed slouch shouldered lovers snuggled near suitcases. Other people drank tea with weary resignation. The board shuffled the destinations. Take your pick. An old man shuffled into a seat and blinked.

I pictured you stick figured on the platform at the end of this line. Then I put meat on you. Lots of it. You were tall, wide shouldered although you hadn’t yet begun to shoulder anything. I had you looking at your watch even though it would be hours before my train arrived. And it hadn’t just been trains, there had been buses, shuddering and unlikely and a boat that lurched like it wanted to spew.

It was winter so the night was a sleeping bag that wrapped round and couldn’t be got out of. So many qualities of black: the darkness into which the track disappeared, the fuzzy felt mugginess of the sky – not a star. If you could only just zip it open and reveal the real world where a sun still blazed and sandcastles were being built on a beach of dry white sand.

Everything intersects at Crewe. There was a special train for the Royal Mail. All those letters. I could chase my own, arrive before they did. Or the ones from you, I could intercept, crack them open to get at the sense of you. Your handwriting did the caressing.

In the waiting room no-body spoke. They were waiting. My two hearts took it in turn to beat and then, when the board said my train was next they both beat together. On the platform the porters with the Royal Mail sacks were whistling. Then the train whistled in and I got on.

It got later and later as it always does. I saw a girl in the window looking out at nothing. But then there would be a burst of lights, a staccato city. I travelled North, where the tilt of the earth made it darker for longer. I kept my rucksack under the seat and leaned on it, holding onto myself. I dozed, waked, watched, felt thoughts passing by like landscape.  I’m coming to you, I’m coming to you, I’m coming to you.

And I thought you rolled the track up so I got nearer and nearer. Atlas himself folding the world. The stations were a ticker tape of increasing joy. But only at the last was I aware of the slowing, the signal to alight. All that way, collapsed to a pinprick. Lips. I thought, distinctly. Lips.

I got out onto the platform and stood, the crowds exiting diagonally, like a rush of water, leaving behind nothing. All that way, my two hearts…It was almost midnight. I stood. The platform was as lonely as Crewe.