July 28, 2009

Her Turn

Her forehead touched the cold thick window slightly. Her light blue eyes remained transfixed in one position staring out the window. She wasn't looking at any one thing in particular since the outside was moving so quickly. The plate of food before her seemed to hang in time, neither cold nor warm, but still edible. She sat alone at the table for two with only a few things on her mind. She recalled this trip awhile ago. Years perhaps. She remembered she had taken it with someone she once knew but now rather faded away from her life.

The white-jacketed waiter approached her and the gaze was broken for a moment. She gave him a look of confusion, mixed with a string of apprehension. Then, with a wave of her hand, he took away the plate of food. He came back with a thin apertif menu. She looked it over. Campari, Kahlua, Cointreau, Mt. Gay Rhum. Her brow winced at the sight of these names. She saw one she could handle. He came back with a small schnapps glass with absolute inside it. It eased down her throat and could think of one thing. Caves. She shuddered and grabbed her timbuk2 bag.

Leaving the dining car, she entered her state room, and came out with a heavy sheepskin blanket. She carried the heavy thing with her to the observation car where she had many memories from before. She sat at the table and placed the blanket over her lap, fur side down. Her hand reached into her bag and produced a moleskine sketch book as well as a well worn moose. She pressed its nose to her lips and set it down onto the table. She started drawing, nothing in particular, just drawing. To her, she hadn't drawn in a long time. Her hands trembled as she drew for herself, not for any assignment or business job project. The porter came by at eight and placed a small charoal brazer onto the table. Warmth radiated from it and it was welcoming. The train lurched over a curve, passing over a trestle. The stuffed moose toy flopped onto its side, and the heat from the brazer began to warm it up. Soon, the car was filled with a brilliant, piercing smell of pink grapefruit. Several others in the car turned their heads around in an attempt to discover which of the ladies had walked in.

At ten, the lamps were extinguished. The orange glow from the brazer still spread a blanket of warmth over the booth. She leaned back, easing into her seat and pulled the moose up to her breast. The stars lazily hung overhead as the tips of the conifers rushed by. Her head remained gawking upwards, until it bounced forward. She looked around her. The car was empty except for herself and the porter. He announced the closing of the car and she returned back to her cabin. She climbed into her bunk, turned out the lights and kissed the stuffed moose goodnight.

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