17 (or 1b)

The sliding by of things: vines and trees tipped with tiny, green leaves; a construction yard, dry and barren as they all seem to be; houses—some with gardens, some without; the slanting shadows of trees in a wood broken by slats of sun; a muddy pond—filthy milk crate on its sodden, muddy shore; an enormous, serpentine river gliding like a great snake, the sun sparkling like splinters of glass on its dirty, green surface that is blue in places of reflected sky; small, white boats tied up to their docks, rocking gently on rippling waves; Y-shaped pillars that look like slingshots, carrying electric cables, marching long into the distance. The wail of the train horn drifts by like a friendly wave. We pass a Filipino Kitchen and a Japanese Restaurant situated on opposite corners in the town of Quantico.

The water in my coffee tastes dirty, unfiltered, like D.C. But it is my own coffee that I brought, so is still much better than what I might have ordered on the train. Too, it tastes a bit of memories, nostalgia, the ever uncertain future, of the last few flower petals remaining on a tree. It tastes of friendship too. The sun is angling through the window ever so slightly, resting lightly on my arm warmingly, comfortingly. I am the most tranquil state of calm. Sitting in this train car, the whole train winding through forest and wetland, over wide, silent rivers with sunlight splashing through the windows, the coffee gurgling inside me like a small child chirping happily (thinking of my nephew right now), I think via train is the most marvelously peaceful way to travel.

I can not put this all into words. Such phony, brittle things they are. There is just the swelling in my chest, and the letting go.


I leave shortly on my bicycle. There is still some organizing to be done; packing for a train ride with bike and things is different than packing for a bike ride.

I don’t feel like I’ve properly recommenced my trip, which I guess is true, I haven’t. This is merely an intermission, and a slightly uncomfortable one at that. They always are, though, once the thought of getting back on the bike intrudes. It’s so easy to get comfortable. I’m staying with a friend in Chapel Hill and currently I’m sitting in a comfy cafe with a cup of coffee and a few of my things: laptop, journal, earbuds, a copy of Thoreau’s Walden and Civil Disobedience. A pen. It’s a huge space. Directly in front of me is a trio of couches surrounding a coffee table with a tiny bouquet of spring flowers on it. There are probably another twenty or thirty tables scattered around the place, some cozy chairs, old school desks lining a portion of a wall. In short, a mish-mash of furnishings. The many people on their laptops…

How strange it is that I be here, and they be here, and tomorrow I will be gone but here they will remain. Here they will remain. For a time, at least. And like the spring buds ready to bloom, to then give of their pollen to the insects and birds to distribute around the earth creating something new and extraordinary in the process, and then falling to the earth to be no longer, so too they. In a way. In a way.


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