Letter about the man on the train
It is late and I am drunk with love for this rain. Most people complain about the rain and the inconvenience that comes along with it. People complain about everything. It is a relief to know that nothing bothers me as much these days. I don’t mind weirdos, losing socks, sadness, odd dreams of my living room being flooded and beautiful fishes are swimming in it. Perhaps there is a meaning to that dream but I shall not bother to investigate. I do not mind my melancholy. I fancy going somewhere with you, say, to some hidden shack with moonlight leaking through spaces beneath the windows, or down the street at a bar drinking a handsome drink, eavesdropping and finding that humans are generally clueless. I love listening to Chopin’s nocturnes on a night like this though at times it fades into the saddest music my heart could bear. I am glad that I have this moment, alive, vulnerable, and meandering.
The candles keep me from fumbling in the dark. I am thinking whether I should go for another chocolate, or have a glass of wine, or put on some socks to keep my feet warm. Well. First things first. Chocolate it is.
There is something that I remember tonight that I want to share with you. It’s about a time that was lonely, and one day, I took the train from New York to Los Angeles. I was fleeing from something, from many things, I suppose. A vague life, unmaterialized dream, some fear or unhappiness that I cannot put a finger on. I took the train so I had time to think. Anyway, what I remember the most about that trip of three nights passing through several states, was that, I sat next to an older man in his late sixties. We were both on our way to LA for different reasons. He told me a little bit about his life growing up as a black kid in North Carolina. I was in my mid-twenties then, and as you know, I grew up in Cebu. From all angles, we had nothing in common. He was pleasant and well-mannered. He told me that he was going to LA to see his ex-wife who was dying, that had she asked to see him one last time. She broke his heart, left him for another man. But I never stopped loving her all these years, he said, so I’m going to see her for the last time. Then tears fell from his eyes. We were passing through Colorado at that time and I looked out the window beside him, wanting to glimpse the sky as he quietly wiped the tears from his eyes. In my heart I was crying too, about nothing, about everything. We all ache for the same things, don’t we? And how fragile we are. How moved I was at that moment of vulnerability, the utter humanness between two strangers who will never see each other again.
I don’t know why I remember this tonight and why I felt the need to tell you. Perhaps it’s because lately it seems that I am encountering a fog. I don’t understand journeys, the human psyche, religion, love. Life is so startling. I am rambling here. I am being utterly asinine.
A sense of elation fills me as I am writing to you using my favorite fine point pen. I am thinking of the travel of this piece of paper, passing through streets and cities, distant lands and foreign sky, from my hand to yours. The world is filled with small wonders.
I’m going to sit here for a while and listen to the music of rain and think of you reading my letter under the skylight.
I send you my love,
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