pile.org

Parting

I stepped off the train, turned around, and mouthed “I love you” one last time.

She was continuing her travels, while it was time for me to head back to Seattle. We weren’t going to see each other for a month.

Her train didn’t leave for another five or ten minutes, but it seemed like she wanted the goodbyes to be done. They had been long, but ended well. And I hadn’t cried once. My eyes didn’t even water.

I went outside, in front of the train station, to adjust the contents of my backpack, which had ended up roughly ball-shaped. (An aside: Do not attempt to wear a ball-shaped backpack. It is not comfortable.)

The breeze picked up. It got chilly. I realized I didn’t want to stand out in front of the train station.

I wanted to say goodbye one more time.

I hustled back inside. I cursed my right foot, which was keeping me from running. (It had gotten tweaked early in the trip, and had been aching off and on ever since.) I hurried back to her train.

As I started down the walkway towards her car, the train began to pull away.

I hurried more. The train moved faster.

I wasn’t going to catch up to her car. I wasn’t going to see her for a month.

My eyes started to water.

I watched the blurred train head down the track and disappear around a bend, headed off the island towards “Monaco di Bavaria”, with a stop in Innsbruck along the way.

I turned and trudged towards track seven to wait for my train.

I guess I’m going to have some spare time now. Heck, maybe I’ll even have time to update the web site a little.

Now hand me those Kleenex.