5 February 2011

A Cup of Melancholy Tea

There is a particularly sad quality in the clickety-clack sound of train wheels, even in the brightest of days, which yesterday was certainly not. I was already cold and tired and wet when I climbed on the train, dragging my enormous suitcase behind me with a huge effort. It was quite crowded in there, but I managed to find an empty side seat, on which I promptly plonked down, putting my legs up on my suitcase and forgetting everything else in the world. I was going home. I reckoned it would be all right to listen to Take me Home -one of the songs which had most haunted me over the past few days-, since on that occasion in was actually going home and I was also in no disposition to burst into tears at that precise moment. Ryan Kelly started off by thinking as the sun was sinking, and then the others sang their bits about things to do with home and firesides and love.

Meanwhile I reluctantly had a look round, to see the hostile surroundings that surrounded me just then... Which one of the horrible cities on the outskirts of Barcelona we were in, I had no idea, for it was far too dark, and neither did I care; but this didn't matter, because that would have been outside and I was inside. It was one of the older trains, a bit more sensible space-wise but just as uncomfortable as the newest ones. The light was dirty and yellow and it made a rather nasty reflection of my face on the opposite window. My expression was also to blame for that. The rain was lashing furiously against the glass panes, and I could feel the wind pushing the carriage from side to side as the thunder rolled and the lightning split the heavy clouds, as if it were trying to annihilate the mocking red and white lights that moved slowly up and down the roads.

The people around me were all engaged in sleeping or in actively ignoring each other, something I find especially common on Friday nights. I rarely get to sleep while surrounded by hostile surroundings. I just made myself as comfortable as I could and sat there, thinking about what lousy weather were having and how the train was taking forever and a bit more just to bug me, I'm sure, and about the funny contrast between the furious racket the storm was putting up outside and the passive lethargy of the sleepy and indifferent people inside.

I turned to the steamed up window behind me and drew a dog putting its tongue out, a penguin, a snake and four smileys as we were arriving in the station, my stop at last.

This morning I had the first Cup of Melancholy Tea of the season.

1 comment:

Kenneth sullivan said...

Beautiful prose. I felt like I was in your your shoes