The train moves, steadily, calmly, as if no one is driving, as if taking a walk by the shore on feet. No. It doesn’t feel as if we are moving. The windows are white, but unclear, halfway covered by the seat in front of me. There is a strange smell of staleness that reminds me of antiquity and buried childhood memories. The kind of memories that you must stretch your mind for to remember, feel and touch.
And now, sitting next to a stranger and alone, I think about time, the space between that life and this. That, which was simpler and chosen. This, which is based on decisions, choices, desires and selfishness.
We pass many sights. The trees begin to shift. The lights change; the colors become light. Soon there are trails, empty ones and hollow ones. I watch, drifting between sleep and dreams. I love moving, traveling and falling out of place because I become aware of my senses. I become aware of what I do and what I see and how I react to new things and new people. I like to think of things I don’t have time to think of when I’m in class and restless. I begin to wander, and I do it with a sense of confidence that I only get when I’m alone and a traveler.
None of us has the same destination and yet we are on one journey. In a way, we are together, related through the same track, the same silence that echoes in our ears as we imagine time passing. If we didn’t imagine time moving, we wouldn’t survive. There’d be nothing to hold on to in the future, nothing to dream of, nothing to ponder on. It is this thought, this image of time and of ourselves that makes us travel, keeps us moving along the tracks, keeps us watching the skies change behind shadowed windows and dark trees.
We move farther and farther from the starting point. But there is always the notion of return, the safe and comforting notion that what we leave behind will still remain when we return. That whatever we don’t find in that new time we can go back and recover from the old. It is this return that keeps us safe, eager to taste someone else’s cooking, sleep in someone else’s bed, sit in someone else’s car. It is this return that binds us to the past, to what will always be and unchanged because it is our soul that changes. It is our mind that changes, not the inanimate objects of our past.
The train moves, steadily, calmly and the stranger next to me asks where I am headed to.

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