lonely spaces

Keep behind the line

Recently, I visited a deserted train station. I walked towards its yellow light, a weird oasis in the darkness. The wind ghosted in from the sea, and haunted me with fragrances of salt and rotting seaweed. By the staircase an electric light buzzed a hornet’s warning.

Stark functionality reigned, along with stern cautions: ‘Keep behind the line’.

Ticket machines waited patiently for customers. Benches yearned for backsides. A shelter from inclement weather beckoned for company.

From a distance a train hooted a warning, and twin lights zoomed towards us.

We leaned forward in anticipation, but stayed safely within bounds.

The train did not deign to stop, and whooshed us within seconds, giving my hair a patronising tousle.

We stood together in silence for a while. Minding each other.

I left. Footsteps echoing down the ramp and past the mournful hum.

Behind me, the station waited for someone, anyone, else.

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