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“Yes I call across the waves;
If I don’t come home tonight,
I’ll make it home some day…”
~ Paul Gross - “Robert McKenzie” (Due South OST)</i>
Though still hot, still sunny, still but the beginning of the Summer as I once would have thought it, the evenings get darker earlier now than they did scarce a month ago.
It’s a Sunday evening, and now I head home, away into the night on creaking trains and familiar tracks. I’m reminded of a feeling which I associate mostly with the stereotypically Japanese near-addiction to work, that feeling of coming home night after night on the same old frequent-stopping train; to an apartment, a single man’s apartment, to eat and sleep before repeating the whole thing again.
Soon enough, as mornings and evenings alike darken, I’ll once again be able to feel these emotions as I return home from work on the train myself.
I, of course, have many more concerns than work and travel therefrom. As I travel home now, I clutch in my arms a bunch of sunflowers; with an invisible label that declares me to be young, in love, and with far more in common with the flower folk than is normal.
It’s almost a shame that the lilacs are no longer in bloom…
What all this adds up to is that I can’t give in to the darkness of the Winter commute. Sometimes I guess I’d like to do so, to experience whatever joy lies beyond the loneliness and futility of the slow evening train.
Deep down, though, I think I know what that joy is. It’s not really joy at all, it’s the kind of unchanging emotionlessness that feels like happiness if you’re so deeply immersed in it all that you’ve lost track of what life outside is like.
But that would mean being lonely - rejecting friends and family, kith and kin, my heart, my song and my love.
Never going to happen.
There’s a different kind of winter travel that I like much better. Gloves discarded next to you on the platform bench; a cup of coffee by your side steaming into the icy air; a pen in one hand and paper in the other, writing while on the platform until the train arrives, then carrying on writing some more as the train carries you forward, away into the morning light, away from the night.