Ticket to Ride…
I buy my ticket to ride,
Paid with blood, sweat and tears.
Hoping for the slimmest change of
Scenery and Circumstance.
The doors slide shut behind me and I take my seat.
Half way down the car there is a stranger sitting,
Reading a paper, oblivious to everyone and everything.
I envy him.
The cabin thrums to the song
Of the wheels along the tracks.
Ka-thum, Kathum,….Ka-thum, Kathum.
I watch the scenery change through the cold glass of the windows,
Hoping my destination is warm and bright.
Some place filled to the top with
Love and Light and Comfort.
I watch the man a few seats away for a bit.
Watch the wrinkles on his aged hands
Trembling slightly as they hold the paper up for his review.
His spectacles reflecting the slowly setting sun on the article in front of him.
The car begins to slow,
Raising my hopes of a peaceful place where
I can rest and recharge from the endeavors of the day.
A place of bright sand and warm sun.
What I get is an “End of the Line” sign
And the car going dark as the doors slide open.
Outside a thunderstorm brews,
And the air is heavy with the promised rain.
The train has pulled up to a dim platform
On the outskirts of some un-named city.
The sudden darkness lights the scenery outside
With muted tones of gray and grime.
The old man quietly folds his paper,
Stands, and exits the car.
Never looking back,
He quickly disappears into the gloom.
I depart the car slowly,
Being sure of each step and trying to see in all directions at once.
I know this place. I have been here before.
Although I know what is coming it always shocks me.
I’ll leave the finer points to your imagination,
But suffice it to say there are bodies.
Or pieces of them.
Everywhere. I. Look.
I have DEFINITELY been here before.
I reach over my shoulder and palm the three foot blade
That instinct tells me will be there.
So much for Love and Light and Comfort.