Monday, 3 September 2018

Round 36.


She’s 22.

She is waiting for the 12.28 train, but it’s 40 minutes late.

The 12.28 train has a reduced fair advantage.

The 11.58, which is also late, does not.

But, it’s here at the station.

If she gets on the delayed 11.58 with a reduced fair ticket she may have to pay a fine.

If she waits for the delayed 12.28 her brother will wonder where she is.

He is waiting at another station, 55 minutes away in the west.

They plan to go out tonight; it is Carnival time and many people will be celebrating.

I am not.

I am on the road, heading north.

There is a rook standing in the middle of the road and as I reach the top of the rise, the rook rises into the sky.

The sky is dark; somewhere in-between the neglected grey of the road’s tarmac and the stark blackness of the bird’s wings.


There will be rain.

But not in the city of the Carnival.

I look back over my shoulder, across the plains to the mountains; the sky is clear.


A little apologetic.

I text my daughter and reassure her that her evening will not be wet; she can not see the mountains from the train, only the near edge of the plains.

She has no credit on her phone, so there is no point in leaving a message on the answer phone, as she cannot afford to access it.

And I can’t afford to phone.

This evening I will go to the cinema; I have saved the euros I need by buying my daughter a reduced fare ticket.

She will be on the train by now; she is asking the controller if it is ok to be on the delayed 11.58 with a 12.28 reduced fare ticket, even if the 12.28 is somewhere else with another controller and someone else’s daughter.

He says it is ok; the service is in such a mess there is no need or profit for the rail company to insist on regulations.

This is good, my daughter is happy and I too, as I will not have to pay her fine.

And I will still be at ease going to the cinema.

The film is homage to the work of the Lumière Brothers; they invented the cinema and if it were not for them I probably wouldn’t be planning to sit in a darkened room with complete strangers.

Though I will know one of them.

We will sit in the third row, the two centre seats.

We will hold hands.

We may share a bar of chocolate.

We will discuss the film as we drive home, through the village, up the mountain and down into the forest.

The house will be empty, except for three cats.

In the morning I will wake at 7; my daughter will wake in the distant city some time late in the afternoon.

I cannot sleep much past daybreak anymore; I am over 50.

Way over.

My daughter is over 20.

She is 22.

(like the train - late. The Editor.)

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