Words will keep us together

Fiction, musings and all things writing by Gregory T. Janetka

I hope you’re not the type to kill the messenger

I don’t know why I waste the money on a lower berth, I can never sleep on trains even though I thought THIS time would be different that THIS time I could enjoy a peaceful night with the rails below me which is absurd I know but it would all be just fine if everyone would just go to sleep like they are supposed to, I mean, it is the middle of the night and there is protocol for this kind of thing and then everything would be just fine, everything would be balanced, but They don’t want to and the only way I can monitor what is going on is to sit up here in the club car and allow my space to remain unoccupied just as it is during the day when it is very easy to see exactly what everyone is up to, or is not up to, but they don’t stay in their beds at night and others prowl the cars for some godforsaken reason even thought they KNOW that the only ones who were figured into the rails were the workers but when OTHERS are added to the equation it can throw the weight off of everything – I always think I’ll be able to sleep (and I could if they would just do what they are supposed to do) but that remains to be fulfilled as I sit here and compose for you this letter which I hope finds your hands and eyes and you are able to reply in kind, unless I fail in my watchman’s duty, for then it will certainly be curtains for us all.

Sit with me.

It is black outside and my reflection is often the only thing I can see through it with the exception of the lights from passing stations which appear for a brief moment and create a trail of sorts, leading me into brief moments where I think I can see the stars but they always manage to escape me with the incessant humming of the rails and the whispered voices, the only thing that breaks the monotonous white noise is the vocal exercises of Eleanora coming from further up in the car – she is always so nervous about singing to the passengers each night even though her performances are always flawless as she wows the audience and always manages to bring something new and alive to the same tunes she has sung so many times over and over again, her voice floating through the air, sometimes with ghostly resonance in these acoustically deficient walls, it is at least a match for her fresh face, I cannot imagine it ever aging a wit, but her nervousness between shows gives her the appearance of having a mother on her deathbed.  I suppose that is what keeps her going, I suppose I must look like that to outsiders, but I can never catch such a visual evident in my reflection which I stare at in the blackness but soon lose when her voice reaches my ears and one would think Billie herself were here hiding from all those trying to take advantage of her; keeping her passion alive in every vibration.
This daydreaming is the closest I get to sleep, the purity of it leaves me with the notion that I need not worry about such trifling things as ensuring the safety of every single passenger on this train –  She is indeed a wonderment.

My hours are slumberless
    Dearest the shadows
    I live with are numberless

When They came in Her eyes met mine as she walked past my seat and I know she’s watching me now from the residence they took in the far right back corner of the car, behind me, I know she is intrigued by me and would be fascinated to talk to me if she would just be able to break away from her male companions for just a moment but They won’t let her go, they are afraid of how inadequate They would seem after we shared words and moments and existences and it is sad to think how one could possibly spend the entirety of things in such a state when there is no reason outside of vanity, of greed, of selfishness and self-absorption and this threat posed by a fascinatingly intellectual superior is more than enough to sharpen their focus on the girl.  She had a lovely hat on when They came on the train and when she passed my seat, but I am sure it must be off by now and is allowing her appearance to be as stunning as possible, allowing full reign for the eyes and senses to take her in – only it is Them who can see it for the present moment but soon shall be me who will gaze on it longingly and lovingly and forever more elevate the harmony we achieve together to a near perfect pitch.

Little white Flowers
Will never awaken you
    Not where the black coaches
Sorrow has taken you

Luxurious silver curves coalesce perfectly with those astride them, and the faces of all those who took part in the construction efforts are readily present with each mile passed and initiations, births, deaths fade into the pristinely cut land without anything to keep them going except the pains in their homes.  I wish everyone would just STAY in their beds! Do not they know this time has been set aside by the good lord to allow them to recover from their daily travails?  All of us we need our rest or we cannot carry on with our work, our lives, the pain in our homes!  At least it is a comfort to feel her eyes on me, their warmth, I know she is bored by them but must keep up appearances and laugh gaily and flutter her eyelashes – why don’t they go to sleep and allow her to talk to me? We have so much to share that we both have the enormous potential for growth that only the other can bring and thereafter we would never find another capable of reaching such levels as the two of us have scaled but instead her false front laughs politely as wisps of hair are slowly maneuvering themselves past her eyes, only to be parted with the gentle movement of a hand as she asks if this is all they really have to offer her.

Angels have no thoughts
Of ever returning you

It is a shame they do not serve hot meals at this time of night the attendant has nothing to do I know he is capable of preparing wonderful meals the likes that have never before been seen on a Pullman car – just like his mother taught him to do when he was but the smallest boy growing up, it is easy to see how useless he was in the fields with his disfigured right, so she taught him what she knew, what avenues she was allowed a sense of expression and the beauty overlooked passed through to his preparations and the others may not have been belittled and beaten like Thomas here, but they continue to do the backbreaking labor in the sun and he has found himself a position courtesy of George’s luxury innovation of years ago, but I don’t know why he has kept the shaking going to the present as no one has ordered a drink for at least a half of an hour yet at intervals he picks it up, giving it a few shakes and placing it exactly where he found it.

And so I make do with sandwiches and her stolen glances.

With the last breath of my soul
I’ll be blessing you
     Darling I hope
                                My hours are slumberless

Sometimes I think I hear a bass.
The notes are very low, and soft, and perfectly spaced out.

I know they are no damn better than I am, no different.
I know we are bound for the same stop.  Then it will be much easier for her to get away from them and talk to me.
I can see glimmers over the horizon and know that soon the weight will be in motion and equally distributed once again.
The food will be hot and the gas lamps will be put to rest.
Perhaps this has gone on far too long.
I am jealous of those without a destination.

-June 2008

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