Staring Out the Window

Written on the train from Geneva to Zurich

The train rumbles down the tracks, with the views of Swiss lakes, mountains, tunnels, and cows flashing past like a montage from the Tourism Board.  Various artists fight for attention on my ipod, from GaGa to Sinatra.  And I stare out the window.

Memories of the past days mingle with those from a decade ago. Faces that have changed and faces that have stayed the same.  Old faces no longer recognizable. Visits to places remodeled, renovated, and just gone, replay themselves in the ever present cinema of my mind. And I stare out the window.

Paths taken, and paths not taken route themselves in my head, map them onto the sails of the boats in the lake, and the billboards of towns.  Questions about current ambitions, broken goals, new ones made, and those in between rattle in my head. And I stare out the window.

The train tilts on its side through a turn.

Familiarities that seem years behind rise up and yet recede. Interactions that once came with ease now seem strained, even frayed, like meeting people from a dream half remembered. And yet they mingle as if made to. And I stare out the window.

Thoughts of other places, other lakes, other views, and other cows interrupt the feed; other connections and familiarities that I recognize are also starting to fray, and lose substance. Can I stitch them back together, fray check them, should I? And I stare out the window.

Gaga ends and Jim Croce takes over. Saving time in a bottle. If only.

My eyes grow heavy. The train tilts again and then rights itself. The picture show in my head dims and fades. The clacker clacking as it runs out film. And I stop looking out the window.

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